Erika Johnsen

Popular Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval is following in the fresh footsteps of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, officially endorsing Texas Governor Rick Perry as the GOP presidential candidate:

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Our nation needs a leader in the White House who understands the role of government and our economy. Governor Rick Perry has the strongest record of job creation, fiscal discipline, and executive branch leadership among the presidential candidates. As a governor, Rick Perry created a tremendous blueprint for job creation and as President, I know he will get America working again. I consider Governor Perry a friend and I am proud to endorse his campaign for President.

The Las Vegas Sun reports that this looks like a straightforward case of 'you've done good work, and you've scratched my back, so I'll scratch yours':

When he entered the race for governor, Republican Brian Sandoval was going against a fellow Republican incumbent, Jim Gibbons. At that time, the chairman (Correction: incoming chairman) of the Republican Governor's Association was none other than Rick Perry, the governor of Texas. Perry came to nevada, visited with sandoval and then....nothing. Not a word about a sitting GOP governor? What more could he ask for?

Sandoval did not forget that -- and it was clear to even casual observers that the RGA wanted Sandoval to win to hold onto the governorship. After the primary, Perry and Sandoval became friendlier and the relationship developed. "Relationships matter" was how one Sandoval intimate put it. ...

One source said the relationship between Sandoval and Perry is "as good as two elected officials can be long distance." Another said Perry was "a very good resource for the governor and they developed a quick, strong friendship."

Mitt Romney took Nevada with a solid 51 percent during the 2008 primaries, and may have been counting on the Silver State as a safe bet, but a Magellan Strategies poll in early September pointed out that Nevada seems to be trending towards Rick Perry. While it is of course too soon to definitely tell which way the state will swing, Governor Sandoval's endorsement can't have been joyous tidings in the Romney camp.


Erika Johnsen

Erika Johnsen is a Web Editor for Townhall.com and Townhall Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @erikajohnsen.