A House Republican has committed an ethical no-no when making an endorsement for president.
Rep. Roger Williams threw his support behind fellow Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz Monday as members of Congress shifted allegiances among an increasingly dwindling field of GOP contenders seeking the White House.
Williams’ support of a conservative from his home state didn’t come as much of a surprise – but it did result in a violation of a House email policy that prohibits members from using official channels for campaign purposes.
The email was delivered on behalf of Williams by a member of his congressional staff, Communications Director Vince Zito.
In October, Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del. landed in hot water for endorsing Hillary Clinton in a press release that was posted on his “senate.gov” website. A conservative watchdog group filed an ethics complaint alleging misuse of taxpayer-funded resources.
Carper said at the time that using an official channel was a mistake. The announcement was later removed from his website.
Zito told Roll Call that using his House email to send the Cruz endorsement announcement was an error and that he called the House Committee on Ethics to report his own message.
In his endorsement, Williams lauded Cruz.
“Ted and I know that Washington is broken,” Williams said in the statement. “As president, he will be an unapologetic conservative, challenging the status quo and fighting for our conservative values.”
Cruz also chimed in.
"From the day he was elected to Congress in 2012, Roger has been a hard charging force for Texans,” Cruz said in the statement. “I look forward to working closely with him on the campaign trail and implementing a conservative agenda in 2017."
See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call's new video site. NEW! Download the Roll Call app for the best coverage of people, politics and personalities of Capitol Hill.