Three members of Congress from Texas announced on Thursday they are endorsing Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination, calling into question whether Rick Santorum, who has said that Texas is crucial to his campaign, can win in the state.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, House Republican Conference Secretary John Carter and Mac Thornberry all signed on as supporters.
Sessions said in a statement that the party needs to coalesce behind one candidate -- hinting at a desire for the nomination process to end.
"The Republican Party must unite behind the one candidate who can lead our party, win in November, and put in place conservative pro-growth policies to restart our economy," he said.
Santorum spokeswoman Alice Stewart said on CNN Tuesday that "Texas will be critical in this primary process," while at the same time downplaying the upcoming primary in Pennsylvania, where the candidate is lagging in the polls even though it is his home state and he represented it in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
"Keep an eye on Texas, that's going to be important," she said.
The Texas primary will take place on May 29, meaning that if Santorum were to stay in the race until it takes place, the nominating process would be dragged out beyond primaries in a dozen states, including some with large delegate counts that Romney is likely to win.
Texas Reps. Carter and Thornberry said in Thursday statements that they were supporting Romney because they believe he can beat President Barack Obama and put in place job-creating policies.
"Mitt Romney knows how to create jobs -- he did it in business and he did it as governor," Carter said. "Right now, we need a proven job creator to replace President Obama, who has failed in his number one priority of turning around our economy."