Rick Santorum, a favorite of religious-right activists, has endorsed Ted Cruz in the Republican primary race for the U.S. Senate seat from Texas. Religious-right leaders meeting at a Texas ranch last January endorsed Santorum in his bid for the GOP presidential nomination. Santorum suspended his campaign in April.

In addition to his opposition to equal rights for gay Americans and to abortion, Santorum thinks states should have the right to ban contraception. He has also argued that health insurance shouldn’t cover prenatal testing because such procedures, he says, lead to more abortions. And he calls colleges “indoctrination mills” that threaten the country because they lead students to question their religious faith.

Earlier this month Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin also endorsed Cruz, a former solicitor general for Texas.

Polls show that the frontrunner in the Texas Senate race is Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Dewhurst has the support of various religious-right leaders as well, including former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Gov. Rick Perry is also backing Dewhurst.

Other Republican candidates for the Senate seat include former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and former ESPN commentator Craig James.… Read More

How quickly they turn on you. Tom Leppert won his 2007 race for Dallas mayor after supporters attacked his main opponent for being gay. Now Leppert is under attack by his opponents in the race for a U.S. Senate seat for “celebrating gay pride” while he served as mayor.

On Wednesday Leppert and other Republican candidates for the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison participated in a debate sponsored by the right-wing Eagle Forum at the Dallas Country Club. Among the candidates at the debate were Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, ESPN sports analyst Craig James and Driftwood mediator Lela Pittenger. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is also seeking the Senate seat, didn’t attend.

Leppert’s opponents criticized him for (gasp!) attending two gay pride parades when he was Dallas mayor. According to the Dallas Morning News, Cruz argued that Leppert’s participation in the events sent a wrong message to the public:

“When the mayor of a city chooses twice to march in a parade celebrating gay pride, that’s a statement. It’s not a statement I believe in.”

James moved beyond just criticizing Leppert and insisted that sexual orientation is a “choice.” From the Dallas Morning News story:… Read More