By The Associated Press
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is receiving a key endorsement from conservative heavyweight Sarah Palin.
The former Alaska governor, and former running mate of Sen. John McCain in the 2008 presidential race, endorsed the billionaire businessman Tuesday, Trump’s campaign said in a statement, noting that he is “honored” by the endorsement.
The endorsement comes less than two weeks ahead of the critical lead-off Iowa caucus, where Trump is locked in a dead heat with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Palin was a virtual newcomer to the national political arena when McCain named her as his running mate but has since risen to prominence as one of the most outspoken conservatives in the party.
She signed on as a Fox News commentator after resigning as Alaska’s governor in 2010, a job she held until last year.
Another bump in the road Ted Cruz is trying to take to the White House.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad went on record Wednesday, calling on people in his State not to allow the Texas Senator to win the upcoming Caucuses there–because of Cruz’ opposition of continuing federal support for ethanol. Iowa leads the United States in ethanol production.
Speaking bluntly at a conference on renewable fuels, Branstad said he hoped Cruz will be defeated.
Branstad–a Republican himself–still has not officially endorsed any of the Republican Candidates for President. However, he said Iowans should oppose anyone against a policy so critically important to the State’s economic success.
Critics however call Branstad’s comments default support for Donald Trump.