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Jeb Bush scoops up three more Baby Boomer endorsements

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The Jeb Bush campaign announced Friday the former Florida governor picked up three significant endorsements in his struggle to keep the spotlight from GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and, increasingly, home state rival Marco Rubio.

Four-term Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, former Nebraska Gov. and U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, and Pittsburgh Steelers great Lynn Swann have all signed up for Team Jeb!, according to a release.

“I am confident Jeb has the leadership skills we need in the White House in order to bring real reform to Washington, create an environment for job growth and make sure America is a strong world leader. Jeb’s record of helping Floridians is emblematic of his passion and work ethic and I know he will be able to do the same for all Americans,” said Thompson, who himself ran for president in 2008, in a statement.

Baby Boomers — loosely, Americans born amid the post-World War II economic recovery, ending roughly in the early 1960s — will be a key demographic for Bush if he is to outlast his younger Republican opponent from Florida.

Men in particular from that era are likely to have fond thoughts of Lynn Swann, who along with quarterback Terry Bradshaw and the famed “Steel Curtain” Pittsburgh defense won four Super Bowls in the 1970s.

“Why am I supporting Jeb Bush?” Swann rhetorically asked on Friday. “One, he has proven leadership skills as a leader in government. Two, he can work within and outside the party to get the job  done. Three, he communicates his vision and plan to create the momentum for success. And Four, he is humble enough to build a strong team.”

Swann also took an apparent swipe at Jeb’s primary rival Donald Trump.

“Having the confidence to lead is important. Having the ego to think it is all about you is dangerous to the nation.”

Swann himself has been active in Republican politics in the past several years, contemplating but ultimately declining a run for Congress in 2008 after a general election loss against Democrat Ed Rendell in the 2006 Pennsylvania gubernatorial race.

Mike Johanns — a preeminent figure in Nebraska politics, roughly akin in status to Bob Graham in Florida — hit similar notes in offering his praise of Bush on Friday.

“Jeb is a proven leader. We have both been governors and I consider Jeb to be the most capable governor in the country. Jeb understands that big government regulations are hammering U.S. farmers and ranchers and he has the right policies for rural America,” said Johanns, who served in the Senate until January of this year.

“Having grown up on a dairy farm in Iowa, I’m proud to support Jeb for president. I know he will be an advocate for America’s farmers, not an adversary.”

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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