Former Iowa governor Robert Ray has endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Ray is a moderate Republican who served as governor of the Hawkeye State for 14 years. "I want our next president to be someone whose character and judgment I respect and whose ideas are valid for our country," Ray said in a statement. "I believe Mitt Romney offers the personal qualities and vision to become a truly great president."

Joining Ray in endorsing Romney was Republican Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski, who touted the former Massachusetts governor's plan to create energy independence. “I am proud to announce the support of Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski,” said Romney in a statement. “I look forward to working with her to expand Alaska’s energy production, bring jobs back to the state, and help get our country on the right track again.” Former Missouri senator John Danforth is also also endorsed Romney today.

Romney currently trails former House speaker Newt Gingrich by 11 points, according to RealClearPolitics. Indicating that he intends to compete in Iowa's January 3 caucuses, Romney has released a new television ad, his first in the state this election cycle. The ad is a version of a similar ad currently airing in New Hampshire:

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