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July 7, 2015

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Sandoval to step up efforts to help elect fellow Republicans

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval addresses delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, the state's most popular Republican, is poised to take a more active role in GOP races, including the presidential campaign.

Sandoval will be the honorary chairman of Team Nevada, the joint effort by Republican campaigns, Sandoval confirmed on Thursday night.

"I will continue to do all I can to elect Republicans," Sandoval said. The governor's new role with the Republican campaigns was first reported by Jon Ralston this week.

Sandoval urged a room of about 100 people in Reno on Thursday night to volunteer.

"We have momentum. It's a dead heat right now," he said before the debate between Rep. Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden. "It will take all of us knocking on doors."

Team Nevada and Sandoval's political adviser, Mike Slanker, would not confirm the governor's role on Friday or explain how he would be utilized by the campaign.

Sandoval spoke in Tampa, Fla., at the Republican National Convention and has helped GOP candidates raise money. But Sandoval, who endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry early in the Republican presidential nomination process, has not taken a highly visible role as a surrogate Mitt Romney. He has also distanced himself from the Nevada Republican Party, which has been taken over by backers of Rep. Ron Paul. That fracture was what prompted the campaigns to form Team Nevada as the primary campaign function.

Sandoval maintained Thursday night that he has been active this campaign season. Besides the speech in Tampa, he pointed to a recent editorial in the Elko Daily Free Press criticizing President Barack Obama for reversing course on taxing hard-rock mining and his presence at rural parades.

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