Supporters of Republican U.S. House candidate Renee Ellmers continue to tout her recent campaign endorsement from Sarah Palin.
The former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee announced earlier this week her backing for Ellmers in her bid against U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge in the mid-term elections. In a release from the Ellmers campaign, Palin calls Ellmers “a true citizen politician” citing her “commonsense conservative agenda, which will put our country back on sound fiscal footing.”
The Dunn nurse is vying against the seven-term Lillington congressman for his District 2 seat.
In her announcement, Palin emphasized Ellmers’ expertise in the health care industry, as well as her opposition to health care reform passed earlier this year. Ellmers previously has said she wants to secure aid for small business, extend President George W. Bush’s tax cuts and continue cost-cutting measures for North Carolina.
Ellmers said she believes she and Palin have a lot in common.
“(Palin’s) a concerned mom. She’s concerned about her kids and where the future of the country is going,” Ellmers said in a telephone interview. “(Palin’s endorsement) adds another dimension to this race. I think it gives us another opportunity to have a little bit national of attention.”
“That’s something that I don’t think (Etheridge) has had to deal with in the past with anyone he has had to run against,” she said.
The high-end endorsement couldn’t have come at a better time for Ellmers.
Etheridge continues to have a larger campaign bank account than Ellmers. But most of his dollars have come from political action committees, the opposite of what Ellmers has in her chest, saying she would rather take money from potential voters.
Ellmers’ campaign received somewhat of a monetary lift in June when Etheridge was involved in an entanglement with two video bloggers in Washington, D.C. Etheridge was under fire from political pundits and conservatives for swatting a camera from one of the bloggers and grabbing his neck as he repeatedly asked the men to identify themselves.
Still, representatives from Etheridge’s camp say it will take more than the incident for Ellmers to unseat Etheridge.
Etheridge’s campaign responded to the endorsement by saying Ellmers and Palin’s “far-right agenda” would hurt middle class families in the state.
“Sarah Palin, who ditched her public service job to be a celebrity, is just the latest in a string of far right politicians and groups to endorse Renee Ellmers,” Etheridge said in a statement. “It is scary to think that Ellmers is going to take her marching orders about job creation from a person who abandoned the job she was elected to do for the people of Alaska.”
Ellmers fired back, saying Etheridge “has been taking his instructions on job creation from Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. As a result, half a million more people have lost jobs.”
Ellmers said she wants to debate Etheridge on job creation. She said she accepted debates on ABC-11 and NBC-17, but still has heard no word from Etheridge.
Mike Davis, Etheridge’s campaign spokesman, said the congressman is open to debate jobs and other important topics with Ellmers.
A political debate could happen sometime in the next month, Davis said.
A specific time, date and location for the debate has not been confirmed by both campaigns.