Rubio picks up Tillis endorsement

Marco RubioMarco RubioGroups unendorse Grayson after domestic violence allegations Trump postpones Hispanic roundtable Tim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense MORE’s presidential campaign on Monday picked up another endorsement from a Senate colleague.

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"Like myself, Marco came from humble beginnings and worked very hard to get to where he is today,” Sen. Thom TillisThom R. TillisTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense Republicans root for Pence as VP Texas Republicans pushing death penalty bill for cop killers MORE (R-N.C.) said in a statement released by Rubio’s campaign.

“Marco lived the American Dream, and he will ensure that each and every one of us can do the same," he added.

Tillis said he is supporting Rubio because the Florida senator “has an unmatched ability to inspire and uplift the American people."

“Through his vision of optimism and his strength of principle, Marco Rubio represents a bright future for the Republican Party and America,” Tillis added. “He has the unique capability of drawing new people into the party, which is critically important in a swing state like North Carolina."

Tillis was a key pickup for Republicans in the Senate following his election in 2014, and North Carolina, which holds its voting in the GOP primary March 15, is a big swing state.

Tillis’s endorsement follows Rubio’s second-place finish on Saturday in the South Carolina primary.

Rubio is rolling out the support of a slew of establishment backers after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush exited the GOP race following the South Carolina primary on Saturday.

Rubio added the endorsement of Sen. Dean HellerDean HellerSenators offer bill removing hurdles to offering stock options Six senators call on housing regulator to let Congress finish housing finance reform Majority of GOP senators to attend Trump convention MORE (R-Nev.) on Sunday, just days before the Nevada caucuses.

Rubio is battling Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzCastro looking at Cruz challenge Convention shows Dems are unified, to dismay of Trump and media Tim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense MORE (Texas) heading into the Nevada caucus on Tuesday, where Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFive things Bill Clinton needs to do with his convention speech RNC mocked for pushing GOP response to Dems from Omarosa Kremlin: DNC hack claim 'absurd' MORE maintained a big lead in polls released earlier this month.

--This report was updated at 8:11 a.m.

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