Reluctant members get in line, back McCain, Obama

Previously reluctant members of Congress are now endorsing their respective parties’ presidential candidates.

The Hill reported in June that at least 14 Republican members of Congress were declining to endorse Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDemocrats' squabbling vindicates Biden non-campaign McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol Palin responds to Obama: 'He is a purveyor of untruths' MORE (R-Ariz.) and that another dozen declined to comment.


But since then, some of those members have fallen in line behind their nominee.

The offices of Reps. Scott GarrettErnest (Scott) Scott GarrettBiz groups take victory lap on Ex-Im Bank Export-Import Bank back to full strength after Senate confirmations Manufacturers support Reed to helm Ex-Im Bank MORE (R-N.J.), Virgil Goode (R-Va.), Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeSheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade Senate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after 'My Little Pony' confusion Texas New Members 2019 MORE (R-Texas), Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) and Dave Weldon (R-Fla.) indicated earlier this summer they had not endorsed McCain, but now all of them are backing the Arizona senator.

Goode told reporters in mid-August he was not ready to endorse McCain because he had “not yet been officially named the GOP’s candidate.”

Reps. Terry Everett (R-Ala.), David Hobson (R-Ohio), Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) and Don YoungDonald (Don) Edwin YoungCapitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 US reaches grim milestone of 250,000 coronavirus deaths MORE (R-Alaska) initially declined to comment. Three months later, these members have endorsed McCain.

Meanwhile, Reps. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), John Linder (R-Ga.) and Bill Sali (R-Idaho) are also backing McCain. In June, their offices said they supported the GOP nominee, but had not endorsed him.

Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), a strong opponent of the campaign finance law that McCain helped craft, has moved from the no endorsement category to haven’t-endorsed-but-support-the-GOP-nominee grouping.

Democrats are also getting in line behind their candidate.

Reps. Albio Sires (D-N.J.) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), who backed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in the primary, declined to endorse Obama after he clinched the nomination. This week, spokesmen for both lawmakers said they have endorsed Obama.

A spokeswoman for Roybal-Allard said, “Hillary dropped out. [Roybal-Allard] is now a full, enthusiastic supporter of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaCan Biden vanquish Democrats' old, debilitating ghosts? How space exploration will help to address climate change Democrats' squabbling vindicates Biden non-campaign MORE.”

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), one of Obama’s rivals in the primary, has also formally backed Obama after declining to do so a couple months ago. Kucinich spoke at the Democratic convention in Denver last month.

Other Democrats who previously said they supported the Democratic nominee but stopped short of endorsing Obama outright have shifted their stance. These Democrats, who include Reps. Leonard Boswell (Iowa), Marcy Kaptur (Ohio), Charlie Melancon (La.), Ike Skelton (Mo.) and Jackie Speier (Calif.), have endorsed the Illinois senator.

Some offices declined to detail why it took them months longer than most of their colleagues to endorse, while others downplayed the delay, saying they wanted to wait until later in the race.

However, there are still some members of both parties who are refusing to endorse any candidate.

Democratic members who have not endorsed Obama include Reps. Allen Boyd (Fla.), Travis Childers (Miss.), Bud Cramer (Ala.), Lincoln Davis (Tenn.), Jim Marshall (Ga.), Loretta Sanchez (Calif.) and Gene Taylor (Miss.).

Democrats who have declined to comment include Reps. Brad Ellsworth (Ind.), Tim Holden (Pa.), Paul Kanjorksi (Pa.) and Ciro Rodriguez (Texas).

Of those Democrats, Sanchez and Kanjorksi endorsed Clinton in the primary.

The only senator who has not endorsed a candidate is Sen. Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelRepublicans who could serve in a Biden government How a tied Senate could lead a divided America Army taps University of Wisconsin to lead research into hybrid vehicles, aircraft MORE (R-Neb.). Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), who is still battling charges stemming from the incident in a Minneapolis airport bathroom in 2007, has declined to comment.

 House GOP members who have not endorsed McCain are Reps. John Doolittle (Calif.), Jo Ann Emerson (Mo.), Wayne Gilchrest (Md.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Ron Paul (Texas) and John Peterson (Pa.).

Peterson has expressed concerns about McCain’s energy plan, while Hagel, Paul and Jones’s positions on Iraq are at odds with McCain’s.

Rep. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranIt's time for Congress to act: Save jobs and stabilize the aerospace industry Lobbying world This World Suicide Prevention Day, let's recommit to protecting the lives of our veterans MORE (R-Kan.) has declined to comment to The Hill on whether he endorses McCain. [After this story was printed, Moran's office called to say Moran's policy is to not endorse candidates. He is supporting McCain, but has not endorsed him.]

Presidential endorsements, and non-endorsements, can be accessed here .