TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is acknowledging his state has been hardest hit by the recession as he rallies the Republican National Convention in Tampa to back Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Sandoval stepped down from a lifetime appointment as a federal judge in Reno to run for Nevada governor in 2010. He says that’s because he watched the state’s economy falter, stagnate and decline.

Sandoval has urged bipartisan cooperation in the past. Now he’s blaming President Barack Obama’s administration for what he calls a “tired strategy” of big government.

Sandoval is the first Hispanic governor of Nevada, and his name had been floated as a possible vice presidential candidate.

Democrats note that Sandoval welcomed a federal grant that Nevada received last year after Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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