[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/19/art.coats4.gi.jpg caption="Senate hopeful Dan Coats was endorsed Monday by influential evangelical Dr. James Dobson."]Washington (CNN) - Dr. James Dobson, the influential evangelical and founder of Focus on the Family, is endorsing Republican Dan Coats in the race for Senate in Indiana, the Coats campaign said Monday.
"I have long respected former Senator Dan Coats for his integrity and his legislative influence in the Congress," Dobson said in a statement. "I also admire his personal commitment to his Christian faith in public life. Dan has been a consistent leader of pro-family causes and a stalwart defender of unborn children. If my wife Shirley and I were Hoosiers, we would definitely vote for Dan Coats in the May 4th primary."
In addition to the endorsement, Dobson cut a radio ad on Coats' behalf that is set to run starting on Tuesday.
Coats, a former senator and House member who now wants to return to Washington, is hoping to win the seat occupied by Sen. Evan Bayh, a Democrat who is not seeking re-election.