North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) released the following statement endorsing Ted Cruz in Tuesday's Republican presidential primary:

"Like many North Carolinians, I believe the Obama presidency has weakened our nation abroad, divided us here at home and fueled unprecedented dysfunction in Washington. It has forced on the American people nearly a decade of misguided progressive policy and a blind obedience to foolish political correctness.

We’ve felt it in North Carolina: Obamacare’s crushing burden on businesses and working families, activist courts denying the will of our voters, and national headwinds stymying even greater economic recovery. Since 2011, our work in the legislature has provided a model for conservative, state-level reform in the face of Washington’s failures. We’ve put our state on a better, brighter trajectory. But only with a new president, and a new culture in our nation’s capital, will the rest of the country experience the comeback we’ve worked so hard to secure in North Carolina.

Fellow Republicans: We have to choose a nominee with the convictions to undo mistakes of the past eight years, and one who can keep Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders from repeating them. The self-avowed socialist or the untrustworthy Obama lieutenant – both promise to cement the change the president has forced on America. We must nominate a conservative who can win in November.

Throughout this tumultuous campaign, Donald Trump has shone a national spotlight on issues worthy of more discussion and debate.  He’s stood up to the liberal media and he’s challenged the political correctness that is tearing apart the cultural fabric that has made America great.  But while Senator Cruz is leading Hillary Clinton in a general election matchup – an election Republicans must win to maintain a conservative majority on the Supreme Court – polling shows Mr. Trump losing by large margins.

For these reasons I’m endorsing Ted Cruz for president.

Of the two candidates with a realistic chance to win the Republican nomination for president, only Ted Cruz can defeat Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in the general election this November. Ted Cruz is a principled outsider with a proven track record on fiscal and social issues that conservatives can count on. I hope you’ll consider joining me in supporting and voting for Ted Cruz tomorrow."

Background on Phil Berger: Phil Berger is the leader of the North Carolina Senate, the first Republican to hold the that position in North Carolina in over a century. Read a recent profile from Business North Carolina magazine, or watch a documentary about Phil's unlikely path to leadership.