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Nevada Gov. Sandoval endorses Kasich

Story highlights
  • "John Kasich is the only candidate in the race with a real plan to deliver results," Sandoval said
  • Kasich said Sandoval's support will be a boost for his campaign

Washington(CNN) Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval endorsed John Kasich for president on Saturday, a potential boost for the Ohio governor in his quest to deny Donald Trump the delegates he needs to clinch the Republican nomination.

"John Kasich is the only candidate in the race with a real plan to deliver results, and he is the only Republican who can defeat Hillary Clinton in the fall," Sandoval said in a statement. "I look forward to helping his team spread this message to voters in the months ahead."

Kasich returned the praise, telling CNN's Dana Bash he admired Sandoval's record leading Nevada.

"He's a great guy," Kasich told Bash in an interview set to air Sunday on "State of the Union." He added, "I like him very much and it's a great endorsement. It really is."

Speaking to reporters later Saturday in Manhattan, Kasich was asked why he hasn't received more endorsements from Republican leaders.

"Look, we've had a good group in Washington and I'm not really all that worked up because people endorse for a whole variety of reasons, and frankly, some of these endorsements really have no impact, have no effect," Kasich said. "Sandoval, he's got the whole package, he'll matter."

The support comes days after former New York Gov. George Pataki backed Kasich. In February, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman also endorsed the Ohio governor.

Although he is a Republican, Sandoval, who is serving in his second term as Nevada's chief executive, was recently floated as a potential Supreme Court replacement for President Barack Obama to appoint to succeed late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February. But he ruled himself out after a few days of speculation.

CNN's Cassie Spodak contributed to this report.