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DENVER — Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is endorsing Colorado gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, FOX31 Denver is first to report.

Romney, who lost the 2012 presidential contest to President Barack Obama, will officially endorse Beauprez in an email that will be sent out later Tuesday morning.

“As a former governor, I can tell you that Bob Beauprez has exactly what Colorado needs to lead,” Romney’s email states. “Bob’s unique combination of passion, drive, conservative values and experience will make him an outstanding governor.”

Beauprez, a former congressman who ran for governor in 2006, served as Romney’s most visible and active surrogate in Colorado two years ago, appearing at dozens of rallies and press conferences across the state.

“I’m honored,” Beauprez told FOX31 Denver. “This is a many who knows what it takes to be a governor. This is a businessman who’s created jobs, who understands how the economy works, who recognizes leadership.”

Romney, who is endorsing a number of his own past supporters who are on the ballot this year, touts Beauprez’s background in business, which is somewhat similar to his own.

“As governor, he will give struggling Coloradans the opportunity to work,” Romney states. “He will reduce spending and streamline state government.  He will restore the rights of gun owners and put the welcome mat out for businesses to return.  He will improve education by empowering teachers and parents.  He will enforce the laws of the people and hold criminals accountable for their misdeeds.”

After entering the governor’s race in late February, Beauprez had to scramble to make the primary ballot and raise money; but his personal wealth, along with a network of long-time supporters, enabled him to out-raise his three primary opponents as of the May 5 reporting deadline.

Former Congressman Tom Tancredo, former Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp and Secretary of State Scott Gessler are the other GOP gubernatorial candidates on the primary ballot.