Sparks, Nevada (CNN) - Two Nevada mayors peeled back the curtain from Mitt Romney's famously organized campaign effort Friday, revealing the GOP candidate has long sought to maintain relationships with local leaders in the fourth voting state.
At a business leaders' round table in Sparks, Nevada, the mayors of Reno and Sparks effusively thanked Romney for personally reaching out to them during local crises.
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When it was his turn to speak, Reno Mayor Bob Cashell took the opportunity to thank Romney for calling in sympathy after a stunt plane crashed into a crowd of spectators in mid-September, killing 11 people.
"I can never tell you how much it meant to me when I picked up my cell phone and answered a call from you," Cashell said. "You called me to tell me your hearts and prayers were with me, and that you would do whatever you could. I can never tell you how much that meant, and I really appreciate it."
"Nobody else running for this office or anything called me up, except you," he added. "I can't tell you what it meant to me during that time."
Romney expressed his sympathy again, deftly broadcasting his knowledge of local Nevada concerns.
"This part of the state has been hard hit, I know that," he said. "Fires, and shootings, and of course the air race tragedy. This has been an awfully tough time."
The mayor of Sparks, Gino Martini, chimed in and added he, too, had received a call from Romney in September after a shooting at a local hotel and casino.
"I was blown away by receiving a voice mail," Martini said. "It was very, very impressive that someone would be that attune to what's going on in the nation and everywhere in the United States, that you would call little ol' Sparks, Nevada."
The mayor added enthusiastically that Romney took the time to "get my cell phone number from somebody."
"It cost me ten bucks to get that number," Romney quipped.
Martini said he had never deleted the voice mail from his cell phone.
Romney won Nevada's caucuses in 2008 and is expected to do well when voters weigh in on Saturday. His campaign has long touted its painstakingly organized ground game that is vastly superior to many of his GOP rivals, and could make the candidate difficult to beat as more states begin to vote in the Republican primary.
After he heard from the business owners around the table Friday, Romney reiterated many of the points from his stump speech.
The GOP candidate acknowledged a drop in the nation's unemployment rate, but criticized President Obama for slowing the rate of economic growth.
Notably, of the 14 business owners sitting around in the storefront of Western Nevada Supply Company, none was female. And with Romney that made a conspicuous 15.
The campaign said the owner of the company had handled the invitations, and while female business owners had been invited, none was able to attend on short notice.