Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday endorsed the re-election of Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho
Simpson, who has served in Congress for eight terms and is a close ally of Speaker John Boehner, faces a strong primary challenge from tea partier Bryan Smith, a lawyer. The conservative Club for Growth supports Smith.
"I'm proud to endorse Mike Simpson for Congress," former Massachusetts Gov. Romney said. "Mike is a proven conservative who's fought to repeal Obamacare and control government spending."
For his part, Simpson said, "I'm truly honored to have Gov. Romney’s endorsement," The Hill reported
. "He is a tremendous example of leadership and integrity. I was proud to be an early backer of his campaign for president, and his support means a great deal to me personally."
The backing of Romney normally wouldn't be of value to someone combating a tea partier. But Mormons have a substantial presence in Idaho, including Simpson's district. Romney scored big victories in the state's primary and general election.
Smith is attacking Simpson for not being conservative enough or fiscally hawkish enough, Politico reports. Simpson counters that his record is plenty conservative, and he plays up his seniority.
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