Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Tuesday joined a growing list of out-of-state political figures who have endorsed Portland pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby in her race for the Republican Senate nomination.
Gingrich first gained fame when he took the speakership in 1995 as part of an insurgent group of conservatives who led a Republican takeover of the House. His star faded but he briefly stood atop the polls when he ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.
In endorsing Wehby, Gingrich provides another show of approval from a well-known conservative, something that can help her with Republican voters as Oregon’s May 20 primary approaches. She’s previously been endorsed byBen Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon who is popular with conservatives, and 15 GOP senators have endorsed or contributed to her campaign.
Wehby’s chief rival in the Republican primary, state Rep. Jason Conger of Bend, has been promoting himself as the real conservative in the race and has been emphasizing his opposition to abortion rights. Wehby has said that she supports a woman’s right to choose.
Gingrich called Wehby ” critical thinker, a problem solver who can articulate conservative principles and bring new ideas to Washington,” and added that she “is the kind of candidate who can win, even in a state like Oregon.”
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