- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 29, 2014

NEW ORLEANS — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin made a surprise campaign stop with retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness, urging voters to get behind the tea party favorite in the high-profile Louisiana Senate race.

Mrs. Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate and darling of the tea party movement, said that the nation needs more leaders that are cut from the same cloth as Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah — and that Mr. Maness fits the bill.

“We promised Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, some of these good guys, some reinforcements,” Mrs. Palin said. “What this state can do in sending reinforcements is electing Rob Maness.”

Mrs. Palin appeared at the final of five events that the Tea Party Express hosted across the state to herald their support of Mr. Maness. The Tea Party Express endorsed Mr. Maness on Wednesday.

Mr. Maness is hoping to topple Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, a Democrat, in the November election. Rep. Bill Cassidy, a Republican, is also running in the Senate race.

Mrs. Palin is scheduled to appear at a campaign rally for Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who is running to unseat Sen. Thad Cochran in the Mississippi Senate primary next week.