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Nebraska's Johanns to endorse Romney

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns speaks in Grand Island, Neb., Friday, Sept. 14, 2007.
Mike Johanns, in 2007 AP

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is expected Wednesday morning to pick up the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, a development that could help him in the western reaches of Iowa in the state's Jan. 3 GOP caucus.

Johanns is a first-term Republican senator who was a popular Nebraska governor from 1999 to 2005 and is also a former Agriculture secretary under President George W. Bush. He was one of only two freshman Republicans elected in the Democratic year of 2008.

"Senator Johanns has been a tireless servant for Nebraska and our country," Romney said in a statement. "In my campaign, I am fighting to grow our economy, lower spending, and reform how Washington works. Senator Johanns has been on the frontline of these fights both in Nebraska and in the Senate."

Romney also has the support of Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman and Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, another state that borders Iowa on the west. Romney plans to be in Iowa next week for a three-day bus tour, his seventh trip to the state.