DES MOINES – Mitt Romney has picked up the support of an influential Iowa Republican in his quest to land the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
Former Iowa Gov. Robert Ray announced he is backing the former Massachusetts governor in next month’s precinct caucuses – the first test of strength in the presidential nominating process.
“I want our next president to be someone whose character and judgment I respect and whose ideas are valid for our country,” Ray said in a statement. “I believe Mitt Romney offers the personal qualities and vision to become a truly great president. Mitt has a strong record in business, including turning around the Winter Olympics, and leading the state of Massachusetts. Mitt Romney would represent America’s values and interests in an uncertain, challenging, and competitive world. With our future in mind, I am proud to support Governor Romney in the caucuses and hope to vote for him next November.”
Ray was Iowa’s governor for five terms from 1969 until 1983. After leaving office as Iowa’s chief executive, Ray also served interim positions as mayor of Des Moines and as president of Drake University. He also founded the character education program, Character Counts.
“I am truly honored to have Gov. Ray’s support,” Romney said in a statement issued by his campaign. “Not only was he a great governor but he is also a tremendous leader with a long history serving both Iowa and the country. In the coming weeks, I look forward to working with Governor Ray to bring my message of a “Simpler, Smaller, and Smarter” approach to government to all Iowans.”