Romney endorses Amodei in Nevada special election

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Mitt Romney jumped into the special election in Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District Thursday with the announcement that he was endorsing the Republican candidate, Mark Amodei.

“Mark understands what is needed to bring jobs back to Nevada and get the country’s economy back on track,” said Romney, according to a press release put out by Amodei’s campaign. “He will be a strong voice for Nevadans and will stand up against President Obama’s failed policies. Mark is exactly the leader we are looking for in Washington at such a critical time for both Nevada and the nation and I am proud to support him.”

Romney is the first Republican presidential contender to get involved in the special election in the early caucus state. Nevada is currently set to be the third state to hold its primary or caucus, despite an ever-shifting schedule. Romney won Nevada’s caucus in 2008, and is considered the frontrunner there in 2012.

The endorsement should be helpful, said Republican political consultant Robert Uithoven. “Any attention that Romney’s endorsement gets in this congressional district is good because they’re anticipating pretty low turnout,” he said, calling the endorsement “just one more thing to alert the voters to this election.”

Another Republican political consultant called it “a very nice endorsement.”

“Romney did remarkably well in Nevada in 2008 and will probably win the state again in 2012. He has a great fundraising base and a very active volunteer base. This is a nice pick-up by Mr. Amodei,” the consultant said.

Given his position as the frontrunner in the state, it is a good move for Romney, too, “to be the first of the major contenders to come out and endorse our Republican nominee,” Uithoven said.

Several big names have so far gotten involved in the race. Speaker of the House John Boehner will be in Nevada Friday to campaign for Amodei. Former President Bill Clinton sent out a fundraising email for the Democratic candidate, Kate Marshall, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has also fundraised for her.