Dobson endorses Vander Plaats

Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman emeritus of the “Focus on the Family”ministry, has endorsed Bob Vander Plaats’ bid for the Iowa G.O.P.’s 2010 nomination for governor.    Dobson’s organization featured Vander Plaats, his wife, Darla, and their son, Lucas, on the cover of its magazine in July, 2007 with a story about “Light from Lucas”— the book Vander Plaats wrote about his severely disabled son.   (The book was published by Tyndale, which also publishes Dobson’s book.) 

Dobson recently drew national headlines when he switched his endorsement in the race for a U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky from Trey Grayson, perceived as the party establishment pick to Rand Paul, son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul.  Dr. Rand Paul wound up winning that primary.

Read about Dobon’s endorsement of Vander Plaats below:

 DES MOINES — James C. Dobson, Ph.D., author and host of a nationally syndicated radio program, today endorsed Republican candidate Bob Vander Plaats in his race for Iowa’s next governor.
 Speaking as a private individual, Dobson said today, “Bob has fought tirelessly for conservative family values. He is passionately pro-life and supports the exclusivity of marriage between one man and one woman.  Vander Plaats believes that all voters, not just one liberal court, should decide what the definition of marriage should be.  I’m proud to join Gov. Mike Huckabee, Chuck Norris, the Iowa Family Policy Center, David Barton, Michael Farris and the president of the Iowa/Nebraska Chapter of the NAACP in urging the citizens of Iowa to vote for Bob Vander Plaats for governor next Tuesday.”

 Dobson further stated, “Bob believes the Republican Party should stand for something beyond simply winning elections and holding office.  He defends the principles and issues that affect the very fabric of our society — and I’m confident he’ll base his leadership in the state of Iowa on those convictions.”

 Vander Plaats responded that he is “humbled and honored by the endorsement of Dr. Dobson.  He has a long history and legacy of leadership on the important issues of our time.  For him to endorse our campaign less than a week before the election will be pivotal as we move Iowans to vote for the one conservative who will stand up for marriage and the family, and resist the extreme social engineering of an activist court.  I’ve long respected Dr. Dobson for his passion for marriage and the family and I’m thrilled he would find me worthy of his endorsement to help uphold those values in Iowa.”

 Vander Plaats, a Sioux City business consultant, authored the book “Light from Lucas,” about lessons in faith that he and his family gained through his son Lucas, who was born with a severe disability that left him unable to walk or speak.  That book was published by Focus on the Family in 2007.

 Dr. Dobson, who served for 33 years as founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, resigned from that well-known organization earlier this year and launched the Family Talk broadcast on May 3. It is now heard on over 700 radio outlets nationwide.  Dr. Dobson was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame last year, has served on eight prestigious governmental commissions, and has received numerous honors and awards.  He holds an earned doctorate in child development from the University of Southern California, where he was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics in the medical school for 14 years. He holds 17 honorary doctorates.  He has written 33 successful books on the family and child development, including the New York Times bestseller, Bringing Up Girls, just released in April.  He has been referred to by Time magazine and by Slate as the “nation’s most influential evangelical leader.”

 Dr. Dobson and his wife, Shirley, who is chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer, reside in Colorado Springs.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Dr. Alan Phillips says

    The issue for me personally is a question as to the worth and credibility of any James Dobson endorsement for a political candidate. As an Evangelical Christian I refuse to overlook Dobson’s co-founder George Rekers of the Family Research Council, recently caught with a “Rentboy” on his European vacation by the Miami New Times.

    Also, I heard his ringing endorsement several months ago of the Presidential qualities of recently discredited Nevada Republican senator John Ensign. He reminded us all that John Ensign was a valuable member of the Promise Keepers board of directors. Add Dobson’s other sometimes questionable associations to the list he has collaborated with including one who has pardoned felons and I must question the value of his endorsement to influence any thinking voter. I encourage Iowans to vote their preference.

    Dr. Alan Phillips

  2. George Vogelin says

    Imagine that, the grand pooba of the Theocratic wing of the Republican Party endorsing Bob “Let Me Stick My Holier-Than-Thou Nose in Your Business” Vanderplaats. Who’da thunk it.