Rep. Schweikert Endorses ‘Principled Leader’ Ted Cruz Ahead of AZ Primary

Texas Senator and Republican Presidential Hopeful Ted Cruz speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on March 4, 2016
AFP / Saul Loeb

Heading toward the March 22 Republican presidential preference election in Arizona, Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz for president.

Schweikert issued the following statement regarding his endorsement of Cruz:

My top priority in Congress has always been to do what the Washington insiders simply refuse to do, and that is to reduce the size and cost of government and save our nation from the crushing debt that the Washington politicians have placed on the backs of each and every citizen of our nation.

Throughout the never ending battles to do this, Ted Cruz has always been a principled leader fighting to do the very same thing. With a federal debt that is quickly approaching an unfathomable $20 trillion, our country’s future economic growth and prosperity are in grave danger unless we elect a principled conservative who is truly committed to stopping the out of control spending and borrowing that has led us to where we are today.

It’s clear that Ted is the conservative leader that we need as our next president, and my wife Joyce and I are proud to give him our strongest endorsement. In the upcoming Arizona presidential preference primary, Ted is the clear choice for voters who want a conservative president who is truly committed to fixing the mess in Washington,” Schweikert concluded.

Cruz responded:

I am thrilled to have such a passionate fighter for liberty on our team.

David has spent his time in Congress fighting against the Washington Cartel and protecting the interests of the American people. He has worked to rein in Obama’s lawlessness, repeal Obamacare, and stop the President’s illegal executive amnesty. David is a strong addition to our team and I am thankful for his leadership fighting on issues that are most important to conservatives.

FreedomWorks attempted to draft Schweikert to challenge entrenched Republican Sen. John McCain for his seat in the U.S. Senate. Schweikert ultimately declined to run, citing a lack of ability to raise the necessary funds. Doctor and former state senator Kelli Ward is currently running the strongest primary campaign to take McCain’s seat. McCain was the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, but ultimately lost to then junior Senator Barack Obama.

Cruz is the only Republican candidate that remains within striking distance of frontrunner Donald Trump as far as delegates are concerned. Tuesday night’s pivotal primary races pushed Trump further forward in the race for the Republican nomination. While Ohio Gov. John Kasich won all of the delegates from his winner take all home state, Trump took home wins in North Carolina, Illinois, and Sen. Marco Rubio’s home state of Florida. Trump’s Florida win pushed Rubio to leave the race. The razor thin margin between Trump and Cruz in Missouri has Trump in the lead, with some outlets calling the state while others have been reluctant to do so. Given that the state is not winner-take-all, any potential recount, however, may not make a difference in delegates awarded either candidate.

Currently the Associated Press counts Trump with 673 delegates, Cruz with 411 and Kasich trailing with 143 after winning 66 in Ohio.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana