Speaker of the House in waiting Ron Richard, R-Joplin, is the latest to join the presidential endorsement merry-go-round.
Richard has joined those backing the candidacy of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, along with Rep. Barney Fisher, according to a news release from the Romney campaign:
Announcing these new endorsements, Governor Romney said, "With the additions of Speaker-elect Richard and Representative Fisher, we are making our Missouri team even stronger. This leadership team will be instrumental in helping our campaign toward victory in February. I look forward to working with these leaders and am honored they have endorsed my campaign."
Missouri Speaker-elect Ron Richard said, "Governor Romney has a vision for making America stronger, with a strong economy, strong families and a strong military. His vision for conservative change in Washington is resonating with Republican voters in Missouri. Whether it was turning around companies, the 2002 Winter Olympic Games or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Governor Romney has demonstrated that he is the kind of leader we need to lead our country forward. We are proud to be on Mitt Romney's Missouri team."
Richard joins Rep. Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City, and Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, on the Romney team, which now includes 12 state legislators, including Speaker of the House Rod Jetton. Governor Matt Blunt is also a Romney supporter.
In the Joplin area, Representatives Steve Hunter, R-Joplin, and Ed Emery, R-Lamar, are backing former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, while Rep. Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, is in the camp of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.