Ashcroft joins GOP leaders backing Wagner

— Add former a Missouri Governor turned U.S. Attorney General to the growing list of Republican leaders endorsing Ann Wagner’s campaign for U.S. Congress.

John Ashcroft, a figure on the Missouri GOP scene since 1973, endorsed Wagner this weekend going into her first debate with her primary opponent.

“We need strong conservative leadership in Washington and Ann fits the bill,” Ashcroft said in a statement. “She has been an outspoken critic of liberal Democrats and their failed policies for years, such as when they jammed the government takeover of healthcare through Congress against the will of the American people.”

Ashcroft lauded Wagner on her positions on issues important to social conservatives, her opposition to abortion rights and same sex marriage, as well as her work for the Republican party, serving positions at the local, state, and national levels.

“It’s time for conservatives to be there for Ann as she runs for office for the first time. Ann has been in this fight for a long time, from the grassroots on up,” said Ashcroft. “Ann is a proven winner.”

Wagner’s primary opponent Ed Marin derides Wagner as an establishment favorite, and his campaign points to her endorsements from people like former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as evidence.

Ashcroft said Wagner has, in fact, challenged the party’s establishment from time to time.

“Ann is not afraid to fight the status quo and buck the establishment when those in charge lose their way,” he said. “This was demonstrated in her courageous campaign for chairman of the RNC… She challenged the establishment to reinforce conservative principles.”

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