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Chamber of Commerce Endorses Ernst in Iowa (Updated)

8:36 AM, May 13, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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The Des Moines Register reports:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce this morning endorsed Iowa's Joni Ernst for U.S. Senate, snubbing Republican rival Mark Jacobs, who has been campaigning on his experience as a business executive.

The news effectively secures Ernst's position as the business establishment candidate, which her backers say is a significant development just 20 days out from election day.

It also likely means more advertising firepower for Ernst; the business lobbying group typically backs up its endorsements by spending money on behalf of those candidates.

Ernst has also received endorsements from former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, and sitting senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Deb Fischer of Nebraska. In addition to being a state senator, Ernst serves as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard and was deployed to Iraq. Her chief opponent for the Republican nomination, Jacobs, is a former CEO of an energy company and an Iowa native. The primary will be held on June 3.

Endorsements from the Chamber have affected at least one Senate primary so far this election season. Last week in North Carolina, Republican house speaker Thom Tillis won his party's nomination for U.S. Senate in part thanks to a boost from the Chamber's political action committee, which ran ads in his favor over his primary challengers. The Chamber has also endorsed Jack Kingston for Senate in Georgia, who is locked in a three-way fight with David Perdue and Karen Handel in next week's GOP primary. The top two candidates in Georgia will proceed to a July 22 runoff, and if Kingston makes it in, the Chamber could have even more influence.

Ernst, Jacobs, and the rest of the GOP field are hoping to face off against congressman Bruce Braley, the Democrat who is trying to succeed retiring Democratic senator Tom Harkin.

John McCormack profiled Ernst in a recent issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, which you can read here.

Update: USA Today is reporting the National Rifle Association has also endorsed Ernst.

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