(CNN) – Mitt Romney on Thursday announced the endorsement of Ohio governor John Kasich and the state's lieutenant governor, Mary Taylor.
The top two Republicans in the swing state cited the former Massachusetts governor and likely GOP nominee's and business credentials.
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Romney acknowledged the state's political importance in a statement on Thursday.
"This might be the most important election in a generation," he said. "Ohio will be a critical – and possibly deciding – state in November. Having the support of Governor Kasich and Lt. Gov. Taylor will be vital in our efforts to defeat President Obama and change the direction of the country."
Romney campaigned in Lorain, Ohio on Thursday, the day after President Barack Obama - Romney's November rival - spoke at a the Lorain County Community College in nearby Elyria.
Kasich and Taylor are both first-term governors in the state. Kasich had encouraged former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour to enter the presidential field, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who remains in the GOP field but is far from the nomination, campaigned for Kasich in 2010.
"Ohio needs a President that won't stand in the way of our comeback. @MaryTaylorOH and I are proud to endorse @MittRomney," Kasich tweeted, referencing his lieutenant in the post.
Kasich previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Taylor in the Ohio State House.