The Republican presidential candidate who won Maine’s caucuses in 2016 — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas — endorsed his former state chairman’s quest to become the next governor.

Cruz issued a prepared statement Wednesday hailing state Sen. Garrett Mason of Lisbon and urging GOP voters “to stand with those who have proven themselves to be conservatives of conviction.”

“In the race for governor in Maine, I am proud to endorse Garrett Mason, and I urge the voters of Maine to join me by supporting him,” Cruz said.

Mason is one of a few Republicans seeking the party’s backing in a June 12 primary that will decide who secures a spot on the November general election ballot. Other GOP contenders are business owner Sean Moody, state Senate President Michael Thibodeau, state House Minority Leader Ken Fredette and Mary Mayhew, the former commissioner of health and human services in Augusta.

Mason welcomed Cruz’s support. He said the senator is “a fearless advocate for conservative principles.”

“I am thrilled to add Sen. Cruz to our grass-roots army of conservative supporters,” Mason said. “We will continue to fight every day to put Maine first.”

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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas (courtesy photo)

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