Romney Gets One of 2012’s First Endorsements

Bookmark and Share While Haley Barbour meets with Nevada Republicans about his presidential campaign, Mitt Romney gets the endorsement of Nevada Congressman Joe Heck

Although Mitt Romney has not officially launched his second bid for the Republican presidential nomination, he has begun to collect endorsements. On the very day that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, traveled to Nevada to meet with Governor Brian Sandoval and Nevada Republican Party officials about his own potential and likely presidential candidacy, newly elected Republican Congressman Joe Heck announced that if Romney runs, he will be supporting him for President.

The Heck endorsement is an example of the benefits gained by all the time and money Romney spent to elect Republicans in the 2010 midterm elections. Heck, a former Nevada State Senator was one those candidates who Romney took the time to aggressively campaign for while also making financial contributions to his campaign. The effort paid off when he defeated incumbent Democrat Congresswoman Dina Titus in November.

Romney won the Nevada Republican presidential caucus in 2008. But it was an uncontested victory that saw none of the other candidates even try to campaign in the state. Part of the reason for that was the fact that in 2008, Nevada’s early caucus was essentially a beauty contests with nonbinding results. In 2012, Nevada’s caucus will be a winner-take-all, binding election that will allow the winner to lay claim to 23 delegates. But even more than the relatively meager number of delegates that Nevada sends to the Republican National Convention, is the timing of the caucus. While the primary and caucus is still in flux, Nevada is on schedule to be third nominating contest in the nation. As such, if Romney wins the New Hampshire primary that precedes Nevada, a back-to-back win in the Nevada caucuses could provide Romney with some psychological momentum and solidify his standing as a frontrunner.

The only other notable public backing of any contender for the Republican presidential nomination came from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal who back in January reportedly claimed that he will support his friend, former Speaker of the House, and Representative from Georgia, Newt Gingrich. Gingrich strongly campaigned for Deal in his race for Governor of Georgia.

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Haley Barbour…….Coast to Coast

Bookmark and Share If Haley Barbour isnt running for President, someone ought to tell him because he obviously doesnt know that. The Mississippi Governor happens to be allover the map, going to places that even some of the other major presidential contenders are not traveling to.

This past weekend, Barbour addressed Republicans at the California Republican State Convention. After the 2010 elections which saw a Republican Wave that stopped short of the West Coast, Californias G.O.P. is depressed and divided. Yet its 172 delegates to the Republican National Convention is the largest of any state and they will certainly carry a lot of weight when the winner of that states Republican presidential primary gets a hold of them. Yet aside from John Bolton who is at most, a possible second tier candidate, Haley Barbour was the only other potential candidate to take advantage of the opportunity to address California Republicans.

In his remarks, Barbour slammed Mitt Romney for Obama-care, declared that the ticket to winning the presidency will be insuring that Republicans focus on the economy, and he tried to encourage California Republicans to believe that they can get their message out in elections to come.

Tomorrow Barbour will be heading to Nevada where he will meet with the Silver States Republican Governor, Brian Sandoval (a very likely name in the G.O.P. veepstakes), and other Party and elected officials. Nevada is an important early state. It will hold the fourth nominating contests, and its caucus will be much more important than it has in the past when its results were nonbinding. This time around they are binding and apparently, Haley Barbour thinks he may be able to compete and force Mitt Romney to spend in the state. Romney won Nevada last time around.

But Barbour isnt stopping there. Having already made several trips to the early and important primary states of South Carolina and Florida, the Mississippi Governor will be heading to Iowa by weeks end and in April, when he is slated to make a decision about a run for President official, he willmake his first tripto the all important first in the nation primary state of New Hampshire.

As for Florida, in addition to his heavy working of the phones among key state legislative leaders, Barbour has now snatched up Sally Bradshaw, a top 2008 Romney supporter who is an experienced veteran of Florida politics and top notch strategists. This would mark the second defection from Romneys 2008 campaign, to the 2012 candidacy of one of his potential opponents. Little more than a month ago a veteran Republican activist in New Hampshire, left the Romney camp for former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

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