Influencing The Flock’s Vote

AUSTIN – The Texas Restoration Project, aimed at motivating pastors to influence state elections, has become a national model to boost evangelical influence in the presidential race. Mike Huckabee hopes to be the beneficiary, meeting privately next week with Christian pastors in Florida after similar briefings in Iowa and South Carolina.

In Texas, the project held a series of closed-door pastor briefings, urging ministers to encourage their congregations to register and vote for candidates who match their moral agenda.

Bankrolled largely by wealthy Republican political contributors, the effort recruited 300,000 “values voters” in Texas and helped re-elect Gov. Rick Perry and pass a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Now, key figures in the Texas effort have taken their project on the road to the presidential primary states.

The Florida Renewal Project next week in Orlando is the latest in a series of “pastors’ policy briefings” in advance of GOP primaries in several states.

Sponsors say the briefings are nonpartisan and designed to mobilize churches around a moral agenda, not a particular candidate.

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