Sen. Lamar Alexander has become the eighth sitting senator to endorse former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president.

Alexander’s endorsement came Friday, when he told reporters in Blount County that Romney was his pick after participating in early voting. The senator, a two-time former presidential candidate, said his decision to choose Romney came down to his executive experience.

“We’re electing a commander in chief who knows something about creating jobs, not a legislator in chief,” Alexander said in a release distributed by the Romney campaign. “For me, Gov. Romney is the right choice. He’s led a state, he’s led a business, he’s led the Olympics . and has the executive experience this country needs.”


Alexander’s endorsement came exactly one month after the senator stepped down from his position as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, making him the third-most powerful Republican in the Senate. Romney said he was “truly honored” to have Alexander’s vote. 

“As a conservative leader in this country for many years, Lamar has been an outspoken advocate for smaller government, a balanced budget and reforming our nation’s broke education system,” Romney said. “In the months ahead, I look forward to his counsel as we look to restore America’s promise.”

Along with Alexander, Tennessee Reps. Diane Black, Phil Roe and John Duncan have thrown their support toward Romney. Gov. Bill Haslam also endorsed the candidate and was recently named as chairman of his Tennessee campaign.

Sen. Bob Corker has not yet hinted at who he would endorse if he chose to do so. 

Tennessee’s presidential primary is March 6.