Romney campaigns for Ahlquist during Idaho Falls rally

Idaho Falls

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IDAHO FALLS — Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney called Tommy Ahlquist a conservative’s conservative and formally endorsed the Boise businessman as Idaho’s next governor during a rally Wednesday evening.

Around 550 supporters gathered at the Waterfront at Snake River Landing to hear the former Massachusetts governor speak, listen to Ahlquist’s message and enjoy a scoop of Reed’s Dairy ice cream.

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned for Idaho gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist Wednesday in Idaho Falls. | Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com

Around 550 people attended the Ahlquist rally Wednesday evening in Idaho Falls. | Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com

“This is like the good old days being back in eastern Idaho,” Romney said while taking the stage as the crowd cheered. “You guys gave me the kind of send-off I needed back in my campaign. I wish I had gotten the job entirely done but I didn’t quite get there.”

During his ten minute speech, Romney said Ahlquist will use conservative principles to fix schools, make regulation work, create jobs and fix healthcare.

WATCH ROMNEY’S ENTIRE SPEECH HERE:

He praised the businessman by referencing his background as a medical doctor, small business owner and developer.

“This is a guy who comes from the private sector,” Romney told EastIdahoNews.com after the rally. “He brings an outside perspective that provides the kind of change we need. We have too many politicians in government and we need to have some people who have been in the real world.”

Tommy Ahlquist speaks to a crowd during a campaign rally Wednesday evening. | Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com

Until a few months ago, Ahlquist was unknown in eastern Idaho. But the gubernatorial candidate has spent time visiting every county, city and town in the state since announcing his election campaign March 1.

RELATED | EAST IDAHO NEWSMAKERS: Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Tommy Ahlquist

“It’s time for some leadership in Idaho where we can actually take advantage of the tremendous opportunities we have,” Ahlquist said during an interview with EastIdahoNews.com. “I think I’m the guy to do it. It’s time to get our median wage up, it’s time to help education be the foundation of our economy and it’s time to fix healthcare.”

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney leaves the rally with a bowl of huckleberry ice cream. | Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com

As Romney left the event with a bowl of huckleberry ice cream, he complimented Ahlquist and, when asked if he wished to say anything about President Trump, Romney responded:

“I hope things go well over the coming years. I’d like to see tax reform get done. I think it may. Hope so.”

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