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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has endorsed Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor in the race for Ohio governor.

Taylor’s campaign announced the former Republican presidential candidate’s backing Thursday. Cruz asked Ohio voters to carefully consider their choices and “stand with those who have proven themselves to be conservatives of conviction.”

Cruz’s endorsement comes as Taylor seeks to boost her conservative credentials in the Republican primary race against Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

DeWine’s campaign is labeling Taylor a “phony conservative” in a $1 million television ad buy in what’s become a notably nasty contest. Taylor is working with Republican consulting firm Axiom Strategies, which has Cruz ties.

Taylor on Thursday noted Cruz’s upset Senate victory in 2012 against an “establishment-backed” candidate. She said Cruz overcame “very long odds” similar to her own.