Christian Group Sits Out Iowa Governor's Race

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An influential Christian conservative group decided on Monday that it will not endorse anyone in Iowa's governor's race.

The Iowa Family Policy Center says neither candidate meets its standards and "commitment to biblical principles."

"After nearly a week of calls for blind partisan unity from Republican loyalists, the Iowa Family PAC today reaffirmed their intention to withhold support from either major party candidate for governor in 2010 unless one or both of them illustrates a fundamental transformation," said Danny Carroll, chairman of the Iowa Family Policy Center. "Our commitment to biblical principles and the constitutional rule of law is not the result of any political affiliation, nor is it something that changes depending on the names on the ballot."

The move is a blow to Republican candidate Terry Branstad. He was banking on support from religious conservatives in his contest against Democratic Gov. Chet Culver.

Culver recently won the backing of Planned Parenthood.

Religious conservatives are a key group in Iowa. Recent polls show 6 out of 10 Iowans describe themselves as evangelical Christians.

Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht said the former governor would still work hard for the votes of religious conservatives. The campaign noted that during Branstad is a longtime opponent of abortion and signed a state law outlawing same-sex marriage, which the Iowa Supreme Court later overturned.

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