Vander Plaats made the announcement in Des Moines, Iowa, today calling Cruz a man of "deep character" who is "competent" and has the campaign infrastructure to go the distance in the presidential race.
"I happen to believe that the extraordinary leader that we need for these extraordinary times is U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz," said Vander Plaats, who touted Cruz's campaign staff as well as his resources.
"As you’ve seen in the polls, he’s beginning to rise. Not only will he be really, really strong here in Iowa, we believe he will be strong in the early states and we believe he can be the nominee to take on and defeat Hillary Clinton and the leftist agenda," Vander Plaats said.
Several conservatives courted the endorsement of Vander Plaats, most recently at a presidential forum in November hosted by the Family Leader. At that event, Cruz got a rousing applause and the number of supporters hoping to hear and talk to the Texas senator overfilled a room.
Schwarm said that the endorsement of Vander Plaats coupled with the support of King and Deace shows that “social conservatives are now going to support Ted Cruz and show up on caucus night.”
The Cruz campaign has long touted its ground game in the Hawkeye state.
"Our ground game in Iowa continues to exceed that of our opponents. Not only have we secured the endorsements of prominent conservatives across the state of Iowa including Bob Vander Plaats, Steve King and Steve Deace, we have nearly 3,000 volunteers working with 99 county chairmen and a terrific leadership team," said Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler. "While others are running their campaigns on television, we have been building a grassroots army and we are about to unleash that army to help us secure victory in Iowa on Feb. 1."
Part of that army includes "Camp Cruz," a rented dormitory the campaign is using in Iowa to host volunteers from across the nation that they're calling a "Cruz Crew Strike Force."
It "will be occupied for the duration until the Feb. 1 caucus with over 500 volunteers mostly from Texas and to help get out the vote for Senator Cruz," said Tyler.
"Ben Carson was doing remarkably well, but the fact that Ted Cruz is getting this says we like Carson, but Cruz is our guy. So it hurts him a lot. It probably keeps the momentum going down for him. People still like and respect him, but they’re probably not going to vote for him,” Schwarm said.