Romney heads back to Iowa
© Greg Nash

Former presidential nominee Mitt Romney (R) is heading back to Iowa for the first time since his presidential run to stump with state Sen. Joni Ernst (R).

Romney, who already endorsed Ernst, will be in town on May 30 for stops in Cedar Rapids and Davenport, ahead of the June 3 primary. 

"We need Iowa to have a voice in the U.S. Senate that will protect and promote traditional conservative values, and Joni’s proven record in the state senate, her decades of leadership as a military officer, and her commitment to the values that were passed on to her as a girl on a Montgomery County farm make it clear to me that she is the very best Iowa has to offer," Romney said in a statement.

The former Massachusetts governor narrowly lost Iowa's caucuses in 2012 after a concerted push there, but he has appeal to business-oriented Republicans and did well in the eastern part of the state.

Ernst has vaulted ahead in the primary polls as both establishment Republicans like Romney and Tea Party activists like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) have endorsed her. Romney's public support could help her take a few more votes from businessman Mark Jacobs (R), who has run second to her in the polls and top the 35 percent needed to avoid a convention later in June.