WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Americans for Legal Immigration PAC has rescinded its endorsement of Congressman Mike McIntyre, which was originally made in 2008, and has transferred it to Republican challenger Ilario Pantano.
The move is a blow to McIntyre's campaign, which has just launched an anti-illegal immigration ad campaign in the last week of the election season. McIntyre, in a debate at Brunswick Community College on October 11th, touted the ALIPAC endorsement as proof that he was the stronger choice to combat illegal immigration.
"What counts is what does Mike McIntyre do? And people have known that in this district. That's why we have blessed with Republican and Democrat and Independent support through the years. In fact, ALIPAC, which is the nation's largest anti-illegal immigration organization has endorsed my candidacy, because they know of the strength of my position, even much stronger than my opponents," Mike McIntyre said on October 11th.
However, in a press release, ALIPAC says it made the change as a way to "rebuke the national Democratic leadership for promising Amnesty to illegal immigrants, deploying illegal aliens as election workers, and enticing illegals to vote in the 2010 elections." Pantano and national Republicans have worked to tie McIntyre closely with the Democratic Party during this campaign.
ALIPAC's news release states it is supporting Pantano because of his promise to stand up for the enforcement of America's existing border and immigration laws. The group believes he will be more aggressive about securing America's borders.
ALIPAC is also transferring its endorsement of Democratic Congressman Jim Marshall to Republican challenger Austin Scott, who voted to pass some of the first state laws against illegal immigration in Georgia before the new Arizona law took center stage.
"We believe that our endorsements are better aligned with Ilario Pantano and Austin Scott against these incumbents who have refused to take action against cities that harbor illegal aliens," said William Gheen President of ALIPAC in a press release.
ALIPAC is a national organization that is against illegal immigration and Amnesty. The group has endorsed 205 federal candidates in 2010.