Celebrity real estate tycoon Donald Trump has endorsed Mitt Romney for president, telling reporters he will not mount an independent campaign if Romney is the Republican nominee.
Trump, who has repeatedly flirted with the possibility of his own run for the White House, made the announcement Thursday with Romney at his side at a Las Vegas hotel that bears Trump's name
It was unclear whether Trump's decision will have any impact on the voters in Nevada's presidential caucuses Saturday.
U.S. media had reported late Wednesday that Trump would support Romney's main rival, former House speaker Newt Gingrich.
Trump said he decided to back Romney after getting to know the former Massachusetts governor during several recent conversations. He said he was impressed with Romney's tough talk on China.
Nevada is one of eight presidential nominating contests to take place ahead of "Super Tuesday" on March 6, when 10 states will hold their nominating contests. More than 200 delegates will be handed out over the next month compared with the 437 delegates up for grabs on "Super Tuesday."
A December poll of registered Republicans in Nevada shows Romney in the lead, followed by Gingrich and Texas Representative Ron Paul.
Under state GOP rules, Romney picked up all 50 of the delegates Florida is allocated at the national convention. To win the presidential nomination, a candidate needs 1,144 of 2,286 delegate votes at the convention.