CHEYENNE -- Former President George H.W. Bush endorsed Colin Simpson for governor Thursday, stating in a letter that the Wyoming House speaker "is the kind of conservative leader we need more of in this country."

"I have followed your tenure as Speaker of the Wyoming House of Representatives and your work to balance Wyoming's budget by reducing spending instead of raising taxes," Bush wrote in the letter. "You fully understand the energy industry that provides so many jobs in Wyoming and for us here in Texas, and you always have worked hard to bring people together around conservative solutions for Wyoming instead of using politics to drive people apart."

Bush wrote to Simpson that he hoped Wyoming primary voters will "take a long look at your record, your experience, and your vision for the state."

Bush is the second high-profile national Republican political figure to weigh in on the Wyoming governor's race. Late last month, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed Rita Meyer, saying the state auditor "has a unique blend of steel magnolia and mama grizzly."

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