Nevada governor endorses Perry for president

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Nevada's conservative Republican governor Brian Sandoval endorsed Rick Perry for the GOP Presidential nomination on Tuesday, giving the Texas governor a boost in a state that favored President Barack Obama in 2008.

"Our nation needs a leader in the White House who understands the role of government and our economy. Governor Rick Perry has the strongest record of job creation, fiscal discipline, and executive branch leadership among the presidential candidates," Sandoval said in a statement posted on Facebook.

The move came one day after another conservative, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, also endorsed Perry's campaign.

Sandoval's announcement came as Republican Mark Amodei easily won a special election for a vacant U.S. House of Representatives seat for Nevada on Tuesday.

His primary opponent, Democratic state Treasurer Kate Marshall, conceded with 80 percent of precincts counted and Amodei leading her by 57 percent to 37 percent.

Perry, who is deeply conservative, is trying to persuade mainstream Republicans that he can win the 2012 election head-to-head against President Obama.

"As a governor, Rick Perry created a tremendous blueprint for job creation, and as president I know he will get America working again. I consider Governor Perry a friend and I am proud to endorse his campaign for president," Sandoval said.

Nevada, at the epicenter of the country's housing crisis, also reported the nation's highest jobless rate in July at 12.9 percent.

Perry's Republican rival Mitt Romney, who released his economic plan in Nevada last week, argues he can gain wider support among American voters than Perry. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has endorsed Romney.

(Reporting by Cynthia Johnston. Editing by Peter Bohan)