Sheldon Adelson-Owned Las Vegas Newspaper Endorses Rubio

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By Leigh Ann Caldwell

The Las Vegas Review-Journal endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for the Republican nomination Friday, saying their reasons for the endorsement are "many."

The conservative-leaning newspaper was recently bought by casino mogul and Las Vegas resident Sheldon Adelson who is also a prolific donor of Republican candidates and pro-Israel causes. His $140 million purchase of the paper was well-above market value and made in secret. It took weeks before Adelson was identified as the owner.

The paper insists that Adelson played no role in the endorsement.

"The Adelsons have detached themselves from our endorsement process, and our endorsement of Sen. Rubio does not represent the support of the family," the editorial board wrote.

Rubio and most other Republican candidates have been seeking the endorsement of Adelson who gave at least $155 million to Republican candidates and conservative causes in the 2012 election. The billionaire was supposed to endorse after the Republican presidential debate at his hotel the Venetian in December, but he has yet to do so.

Republicans in Nevada caucus in two-and-a-half weeks on Tuesday, February 23.

"Our reasons for endorsing Sen. Rubio are many. Notably, the Florida senator has deep personal connections to the state," the editorial board wrote, noting that he spent ages eight to 14 in Las Vegas.

They also say they agree with Rubio's position that the government "owns too much land within Nevada's borders" and that Rubio "backs a reasonable approach to fix a broken (immigration) system."

The editorial board notes that one requirement for an endorsement was that the candidate needed to meet with them. Donald Trump was automatically dropped from receiving an endorsement because the editorial board said "he could not work an interview into his schedule."