published Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

2 Tennessee representatives voice support for Mitt Romney


by Chris Carroll
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney announced two new Tennessee endorsements Monday, documenting support from U.S. Reps. Diane Black and Phil Roe.

"I am honored to receive the support of these great conservative leaders," Romney said in a news release. "They share my vision of lower taxes, reduced spending and a balanced budget. Each of them understands the danger our country is facing, and I look forward to working with them to put America back on the right path."

Romney's press team also repeated last month's endorsement from U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan, of Knoxville.

Duncan, the dean of the Tennessee delegation, endorsed Romney as "a conservative businessman," while Black extolled Romney's "skill set that uniquely qualifies him to lead the United States at this critical time in history." Roe, a physician, praised Romney's desire to repeal President Barack Obama's "deeply flawed health care plan."

As part of a widespread effort to obtain endorsements, volunteers and other primary election help, Romney's political action committees have donated to thousands of federal candidates and officeholders, including many from Tennessee.

Federal Election Commission records show Romney has given $2,500 to Duncan and $7,000 to Black, from Murfreesboro.

Romney has spent $30,300 on the rest of Tennessee's Washington GOP delegation since last year, including U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, both of Chattanooga.

But besides the Tennessee three -- Black, Duncan and Roe -- none of them has endorsed Romney or any other candidate for president.

Gov. Bill Haslam also has not endorsed, although Romney gave $2,500 to his gubernatorial campaign last year.

Tennessee hosts a presidential primary on March 6, and sources have said presidential endorsements could surface closer to the election.

Roe, of Johnson City, is the only Republican member of Tennessee's congressional delegation who hasn't received Romney's financial backing.

Contact staff writer Chris Carroll at ccarroll@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6610.

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