Indiana U.S. Rep. Luke Messer — the House’s fifth highest-ranking member — endorsed Jeb Bush in his 2016 campaign for the White House on Friday.
Messer chairs the Republican Policy Committee. He praised Bush for his know-how and bona fides as a reformer.
“I’ve watched this primary carefully and believe Jeb Bush is uniquely qualified to lead our nation out of the morass created by the current administration,” said Messer in a statement.
Though some two dozen other members of the House have endorsed Bush so far, according to FiveThirtyEight’s online endorsement tracker, Messer is the first member of the GOP-led House leadership to publicly offer his support.
“Jeb’s record in Florida proves he’s a man of his word, a true conservative reformer who can change Washington and fix the big things that are broken with our federal government,” Messer said. “I’m all in for Jeb, and think he would make a terrific Commander-in-Chief.”
Like Bush, Messer has focused on education issues since winning election to the House in 2013. He sits on the House Education & Workforce Committee. In the Indiana statehouse, he sponsored a bill to raise the high school dropout age from 16 to 18, which led to a rise in graduation rates.
Bush currently boasts more than double the number of Congressional endorsements than his closest rival Sen. Rand Paul, who has 11.
Sen. Marco Rubio, who is giving his fellow Floridian Bush a somewhat unexpected run for his money in the polls of late, has 10.