Rudy Giuliani, whose tussle with Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential race is becoming testier by the day, reached into Romney's backyard today for another endorsement.
The former New York mayor's campaign announced the backing of Jim Rappaport, former chairman of the Massachusetts GOP.
"Mayor Giuliani has a strong record of cutting taxes, controlling wasteful spending, and improving the quality of life for citizens of New York," Rappaport said in a statement issued by the campaign. "Rudy also supports using free-market principles to reform and better our health care system -- offering a clear contrast with the Democrats in the general election -- and he has the leadership skills to make these reforms happen once elected."
Romney had personal clashes with Rappaport, and supported Kerry Healey over Rappaport in the 2002 Republican primary for lieutenant governor.
"Jim is a respected, conservative voice in Massachusetts Republican politics and will help our organization in the state continue to grow," Giuliani's national political director Mark Campbell said in the statement.
Rappaport joins former Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci and former State Treasurer Joe Malone in Giuliani's corner.
In response, the Romney campaign pointed out that he has been endorsed by former Governor Bill Weld, most Republican legislators, and nearly half of Republican State Committee members.
"There is strong support for Governor Romney in Massachusetts, and he looks forward to continuing to build his organization in the state," spokeswoman Sarah Pompei said in a statement.
The Romney camp also pointed out that in December 2005, Rappaport paid a $60,000 fine for campaign finance violations -- then the largest such fine ever. He paid the penalty for failing to disclose more than $500,000 of the $3 million he spent in his 2002 bid for lieutenant governor.