Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Thursday endorsed Republican Nicole Hasso for a House seat in Iowa’s third congressional district, praising her as an outsider “who will take on the Washington swamp and will help fight back against the left’s extreme agenda.”
Hasso, a financial planner who announced her candidacy in July, is challenging Democrat Rep. Cindy Axne for the seat in 2022. Cruz backing an Iowa candidate ahead of the midterm elections is part of a broader push for the senator in the state, the first major contest of the U.S. presidential primary season.
The Texas lawmaker in 2016 leveraged a sophisticated ground game and widespread evangelical support into a caucus win in Iowa and is considering another presidential run in 2024.
“Well, sure, I’m certainly looking at it. I’ll tell you, 2016 was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life,” Cruz said earlier this month during an interview on The Conservative Digest. “… So, whether it is in the Senate or whether it is in a presidential campaign, I’m committed to fighting to defend free enterprise, to defend freedom, and to defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”
He’s among an early wave of potential presidential hopefuls to arrive in Iowa ahead of the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. Former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in July attended an event hosted by The Family Leader, a socially conservative organization, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley spoke at an Iowa GOP Lincoln Dinner in June.
Hasso, in an announcement video, describes herself as a conservative Black Republican who grew up in Chicago and opposes Critical Race Theory.
“Critical Race Theory says the American Dream isn’t for people who look like me, who come from where I came from,” she says. “Too many people think that, without special treatment and big government, your skin color, your gender and your ZIP code — not your choices — decide your destiny. But I choose differently. I was the author of my own story, and I thank God every day that that story brought me here, to Iowa.”