The Chamber of Commerce will back Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill Rand Paul takes victory lap on GOP health bill Senators push Trump on defense deals with India MORE (R-Texas) in his reelection campaign, helping him in his surprise primary against Tea Party-aligned Rep. Steve StockmanSteve StockmanEx-GOP rep blames arrest on 'deep state' conspiracy Former Texas rep Steve Stockman facing conspiracy charge Why Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog MORE (R-Texas).
"Senator Cornyn is a conservative champion for the American free enterprise system. He has a proven record on issues important to the business community and has received a 90 percent lifetime voting record with the U.S. Chamber," Chamber National Political Director Rob Engstrom said in a statement. "The Chamber is proud to stand with him."
The Chamber has also endorsed Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), a close friend of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Simpson is facing a Tea Party challenger. Other groups, including former Rep. Steve LaTourette's Republican Main Street Partnership, have promised to spend heavily for centrist candidates.
Stockman, who surprised many with his decision on Monday to run against Cornyn, has not yet received the same support from national conservative groups. The deep-pocketed Club for Growth, the biggest player on the right, said on Tuesday it wouldn't get involved in the race.
Meanwhile, FreedomWorks and the Senate Conservatives Fund have been critical of Cornyn and haven't ruled out involvement in the contest.
Cornyn has nearly $7 million cash on hand for the race, while Stockman has just over $30,000 — and $160,000 in campaign debt.