Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) snagged endorsements Monday from two key Republican figures in two important primary states.
Former Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and his wife offered their endorsement Monday for Romney, while former Sen. Mel Martinez (Fla.), a former Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman, also backed Romney.
"New Hampshire voters are looking for a candidate who will focus on the economy from day one," Gregg said in a statement. "Mitt Romney is the only candidate with a record of results in both the private sector and as governor."
The former three-term senator, who served from 1993-2011, is a longtime fixture in New Hampshire politics. He served as governor from 1989-93, and in Congress from 1981-89. He was briefly nominated for a position commerce secretary under President Obama, but withdrew his name.
Some Republicans have griped in the past, though, about Gregg's ability to deliver a vote. In 2000, Gregg endorsed George W. Bush, who went on to lose the NH primary to Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).
"They can't even deliver a pizza," GOP strategist Mike Murphy, who was working for McCain in 2000, told the New York Times that January.
Martinez, a prominent Hispanic voice in the GOP from an important primary state, will serve on the Romney campaign's National Advisory Council.
"Unemployment remains a pressing issue both in Florida and across the nation," Martinez said. "Now more than ever, we need a leader who will get our country's fiscal house in order."
The endorsements have the effect of building an impression that establishment-minded Republicans have begun to coalesce around Romney. The Republican field is seen as finalized since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin last week both said they would not seek the GOP nomination in 2012. In the week since then, Romney has been rolling out new names of Republicans who have endorsed him, while picking up support of GOP money men behind the scenes.
Romney also picked up support from a newer face in the GOP on Monday, Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm (R), a freshman lawmaker with a relatively moderate record in Congress.