Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is endorsing Boise businessman Tommy Ahlquist in the race to become Idaho's next governor in 2018.
Romney said Wednesday -- in a statement distributed by Ahlquist's campaign -- that he's backing Ahlquist because the political newcomer's experience as a doctor and businessman has made him “uniquely qualified for the top position.”
Romney is considered a high-profile endorsement in Idaho -- particularly in the eastern half of the state -- because of his goodwill earned across the Rocky Mountain region from his role running the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and his prominence as a Mormon.
Ahlquist faces Republicans Lt. Gov. Brad Little and U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador in the Idaho GOP primary election in May.
Governor "Butch" Otter has said he won't seek a fourth term.
(by Kimberlee Kruesi, Associated Press)