With the primary for the Illinois 18th District special election happening tomorrow, final endorsements and candidate statements are being released. Today Texas Senator and GOP candidate for president Ted Cruz has endorsed conservative candidate Mike Flynn. Meanwhile, establishment candidate Darin LaHood has come out in support of President Obama’s Cuba policies.
Cruz said in a statement released by the Flynn campaign:
Mike Flynn is the kind of courageous conservative we need in Washington. When Andrew Breitbart launched BigGovernment.com to expose ACORN and fight back against the institutional left and the political class, he chose Mike Flynn as his lieutenant. For 6 years, Flynn helped expose the media’s lies and led many fights against the Obama Administration and Washington’s entrenched political establishment. I’m happy to endorse his campaign for Congress. With Flynn, Central Illinois will have a strong voice to uphold the constitution, defend the 2nd Amendment and stand up to the media and political elite.
Meanwhile in a recent interview, establishment Republican Darin LaHood has come out in support of Obama’s policies on Cuba. In a recorded interview, LaHood noted that Obama’s policy of opening Cuba was a way for Cuba to “transition” to democracy.
Despite Cuba’s continued policy of jailing political dissidents and quashing freedom, LaHood said he was “supportive” of Obama’s policy.
During the recorded interview posted on Sunday by Central Illinois On the Record, LaHood claimed that opening Cuba is “a good thing.” LaHood said:
I think in terms of opening markets for our farmers, particularly in Cuba, I’m supportive of that. You know, this is the 17th largest agriculture district in the country … when you think about the commodities that are grown and produced in central Illinois, we have to open up more markets. That’s jobs and economic opportunity for our farmers in our ag community in Central Illinois. So I’m supportive of opening up new markets, such as Cuba, for our corn and our soybeans and other products. That’s a good thing.
LaHood went on to pay lip service to the decades of real human rights abuses perpetrated by Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and his regime, dismissively saying that Cuba has had “some issues” with human rights abuses.
“In the past, obviously Cuba has had some issues with human rights and other things. But I think this is a way to, you know, transition them to democracy and economic freedom and I’m supportive of it,” LaHood said.
As Flynn gets the endorsements of many local tea party groups, the latest tea party group endorsement has been withheld from both candidates. On Monday, Tea Party Patriots decided not to endorse either candidate, because its members could not agree.
But while LaHood has gotten the endorsements from a long, long list of establishment groups like the illegal alien amnesty-supporting U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as Congressional House Speaker John Boehner and his establishment leadership team, Flynn has been endorsed by several local Tea Party groups and conservatives such as Mark Levin and Dana Loesch.
The election is clearly a race between the big dollar establishment backing LaHood and the grassroots backing Mike Flynn.
The special election primary is tomorrow, July 7.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com