Three Latino Republican congressional lawmakers are now endorsing Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for president after previously supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Rubio's presidential campaign announced Reps. Carlos Curbelo, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart -- who all represent Florida congressional districts -- endorsed the Florida senator. The three members of the House of Representatives join former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart in aligning with Rubio after previously endorsing Bush.

The former Florida governor suspended his campaign following an underwhelming South Carolina primary performance on Feb. 20.

Endorsement of the South Florida Congressional Delegation

Mario Diaz-Balart, who currently represents Florida's 25th Congressional District, spoke highly of Rubio. In a statement released by Rubio's campaign, Diaz-Balart said the first-term senator has been a "principled man" since serving in the Florida Legislature.

"This commitment and his vision for the future of this great nation make him the strongest candidate for the Republican nomination," said the congressman about Rubio. "It's no secret that the current administration has left our country weakened and divided. We need someone who will not only win back the White House in November, but who will also put our country back on a path to prosperity. I am proud to support my friend Marco Rubio as the next president of the United States."

Ros-Lehtinen, congresswoman for Florida's 27th Congressional District, praised Rubio's lead on foreign policy and his focus to improve the U.S. economy. She added, "Marco understands our country's needs. From his days as an intern in my Miami Congressional office to his service in the Florida House and the U.S. Senate, he has shown that he will enthusiastically tackle the problems we face with innovative policy proposals. I'm proud to endorse my friend Marco for president because I know he is part of the next generation of leaders and will be an effective advocate for conservative principles in the White House."

Curbelo, representing Florida's 26th Congressional District, recognized Rubio's youth as an advantage in the presidential race. He said Rubio represents a new generation of leadership, and he's able to unify Republicans and Americans. Curbelo, currently serving his first term in the House, said the GOP deserves a candidate who will defend the Constitution and respect Americans.

"Like so many young Americans, I am proud to stand with Marco Rubio today, and I look forward to his leadership as our great country's next President," said Curbio, who previously received the endorsements of Rubio and Bush when he ran for Florida's 26th Congressional District in 2014.

The three current congressional lawmakers and Lincoln Diaz-Balart were among more than 225 Latinos comprising of Bush's National Hispanic Leadership Committee. The group spanned 20 states and two territories, working to promote the former Florida governor's record.

Former congressman Diaz-Balart said the time had come to unite and support Rubio, since the 2016 presidential election will be decisive for the cause of freedom. He added that only Rubio could defeat Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Monday's Growing List of Endorsements

The four Latinos' endorsements coincided with announcements of official support from four other political figures for Rubio since Monday morning. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty endorsed Rubio a little more than a week before the Minnesota caucuses on March 1. In Nevada, ahead of the state's caucuses on Tuesday, Rubio won the endorsement of Republican Rep. Cresent Hardy. Also in Florida, Republican Rep. Gus Bilirakis endorsed Rubio. A little further north, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., officially announced his support for Rubio as well.


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