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Mel Martinez Endorses Mitt Romney

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(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney picked up a powerful ally in his race for the White House.

Former Republican National Committee Chair and Florida Senator Mel Martinez officially endorsed Romney for president in 2012.

Martinez is going a step further and will serve as chairman of Romney’s National Advisory Council. Martinez said Romney’s private sector experience makes him the best candidate.

Securing Martinez’s support is key if Romney wants to win the state of Florida and eventually the GOP nomination. In recent straw polls, Romney has struggled in Florida.

Florida’s presidential primary is set for January 31, 2012.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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