News Center

December 15th, 2011

Gingrich Wrongly Claims Support from State Senator Who Backs Perry; UPDATE: Kersten Has Not Endorsed Either

Newt Gingrich’s campaign released a list of 55 supporters in Iowa today, but the announcement is filled with errors and inaccuracies. Along with several misspellings, the campaign claims State Senator David Johnson from Osceola County is one of 14 elected officials who endorsed Gingrich.

“That’s not correct,” Johnson tells “I have not endorsed Speaker Gingrich. I think there is confusion on that campaign.” The Gingrich campaign press release also misspelled Osceola County as “Osceloa County”.

Johnson says the Gingrich campaign reached out to him, but he made it clear his allegiance lies with Texas governor Rick Perry. “It’s interesting because I was contacted by a member of the campaign staff earlier this month and he was asking me, ‘Do I want to switch my endorsement to the speaker’. And I said no.”

Despite Perry’s tumble in the polls, Johnson’s support remains steadfast. “I endorsed Governor Perry before he even announced. I still have a Perry bumper sticker on the back of my car,” he said.

Other errors in the press release include misspelling Iowa House representative Josh Byrnes’ name as “Josh Byres”, former congressional candidate Pat Bertroche as “Pat Batroche”, and claiming Charlie Gruschow is the “Tea Party of Iowa Founder”. Gruschow is the founder of the Tea Party of America. He is also a Gingrich campaign staffer.

Mistakes on supporter lists released to the public are a recurring theme this cycle. Earlier this week, the Perry campaign wrongly claimed a Rick Santorum supporter was part of its veterans’ steering committee. Michele Bachmann has erroneously placed at least three Iowans on supporter lists made public by her campaign.

UPDATE: Scratch another name from the list. Businessman Jim Kersten tells that he has not endorsed any candidate, but probably will by next week. Kersten was listed in a group of “Newt 2012 Business Leaders” who had endorsed Gingrich. Kersten was one of the group of seven Iowans who lobbied Chris Christie to enter the presidential race.

UPDATE: There is also one name listed twice, so instead of 55 supporters, we are down to 52.

UPDATE: The Gingrich campaign updated the list on its website, correcting the errors we pointed out earlier and removing Senator David Johnson. However, there are still other mistakes, including the misspelling of county names and supporters.

Photo by Dave Davidson,

Related articles

About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

blog comments powered by Disqus