Newly elected U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Ill., is endorsing Marco Rubio for president.

LaHood, a Peoria Republican, said in a statement Wednesday that Rubio represents the "best and brightest of what America has to offer."

Rubio, a first-term U.S. Senator from Florida, is part of a large Republican field seeking the GOP nomination.

"Marco is a transformational leader with a bold vision for a New American Century and I look forward to serving as Co-Chair of his Illinois Presidential campaign. Marco’s uplifting plan to create good paying 21st century jobs will ensure more people will be able to achieve the American Dream," LaHood said in the statement.

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LaHood, who was elected last month to fill the seat of Republican Aaron Schock, represents parts of central and western Illinois, including areas that border southeast Iowa, where the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses are held. It's expected that LaHood will campaign for Rubio there, as well as in Illinois.

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