Mitt Romney is wading into the GOP governor's primary in Michigan, and he's backing Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.).

Hoekstra faces state Attorney General Mike Cox and businessman Rick Snyder in a pitched primary battle. Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) is term-limited, and Democrats are waging their own primary battle.

Romney's endorsement carries particular weight in Michigan, because his dad was a Republican governor there in the 1960s.

“Michigan is special for me because it’s the place where I grew up and where my father served three terms as Governor," Romney said in a statement. "For too long, Michigan has suffered with high unemployment and job loss. It is critical that we elect pro-growth conservative leaders who will keep taxes low, cut wasteful spending and create jobs. Pete Hoekstra has the capability and the right policies to get Michigan’s economy moving again."

Mike Huckabee has endorsed Cox.

Romney won Michigan in the 2008 presidential primaries, taking 39 percent of the vote. Huckabee finished third, behind Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), with 16 percent.