By KASIE HUNT, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder plans to endorse Mitt Romney's presidential bid Thursday.
Snyder will announce at an event in Farmington Hills, Mich., that he's backing Romney, a Republican official told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The former Massachusetts governor is fighting rival Rick Santorum to win the Feb. 28 Republican primary in Michigan, Romney's home state. Losing the contest would be a significant embarrassment for Romney, whose father, George, served as Michigan's governor before losing his presidential bid in 1968.
Snyder, who like Romney is a former venture capitalist, was elected in 2010 after campaigning as an outsider with business experience. He plans to argue that Romney has a conservative fiscal record and a bold plan to cut spending.
Snyder's backing caps Romney's significant establishment support in the state, where dozens of local officials have already signed on to back him. Romney spent his childhood in Michigan and won the GOP primary in 2008, and a decision from Snyder to back a rival or to stay out of the presidential contest would have been a blow.
Romney plans to address a Livonia Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday, and Snyder is expected to appear with him. The Republican official was not authorized to speak publicly about the announcement and requested anonymity.
Campaigning in the state Wednesday, Romney wooed tea party voter with arguments against the federal bailout of the auto industry. He plans to campaign in Ohio as well as Michigan on Thursday.