Staton stated his opposition to Spencer in a letter to the media.
“The current incumbent is an extremist who has alienated himself from other legislators becoming beholden to the fringe-radical groups of our state,” Staton wrote. “It is important to send a mature person who will be taken seriously and who will work for the betterment of our state, not extreme individuals who are an embarrassment.”
Zach Louis, an aide for Staton, said the senator’s support for Stasinis is unsolicited.
“We reached out to her,” he said. “We said we want to support her campaign.”
Spencer said Staton has a branding problem.
“He is not a true conservative,” Spencer said. “I find his assessment of my politics… appalling.”
The feud between Staton and Spencer reached the boiling point during this year’s legislative session as Spencer was pushing for his bill, HB707 which prevented most of state government from implementing Obamacare. The bill got caught in the legislative meat grinder and a frustrated Spencer lashed out at what he termed “Republican Benedict Arnolds.” The bill eventually passed after being attached to HB943 and even had Staton’s yes vote on the bill. One wonders if that makes Staton beholden to those same “fringe-radical groups of our state?”
Before putting too much stock in an endorsement from the retiring Senator, one should read this article where Staton boasted of stopping last year’s Second Amendment bill and his intention to do the same this year unless he got what he wanted. One should also note that Staton only made the boast after the House passed a piece of legislation he termed his legacy. I advocated for him, asking House Leadership to pass his resolution at the expense of my version of the proposal, even as the Senate Rules Committee was prepared to move mine forward.
One should also consider this is not the first time Staton has been critical of his Republican colleagues. Should Rep. Spencer also expect a letter of opposition from Beth Merkelson?
Staton is certainly free to support or oppose whomever he pleases and to criticize members of the House with whom he disagrees with philosophically, but we are also free to put his criticism in it’s proper context.
Full Disclosure: I am supporting Rep. Spencer for reelection and have contributed to his campaign.