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Romney Picks Up 3 Key Latino Endorsements in Florida

MIAMI -- U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart and former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (yes, they're brothers) will endorse Mitt Romney Tuesday at an event in South Florida, and serve as foreign policy advisers to the Romney campaign.

The three are powerful among the Cuban community, which makes up the majority of registered Republican voters in Miami-Dade County. Ros-Lehtinen is also chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The three all supported Sen. John McCain in 2008 over Romney in the Republican primary. McCain went on to win the Florida primary. Romney lost Miami-Dade by 52,000 votes.

“I am proud to be working with Ileana, Mario, and Lincoln,” Romney said in a statement released early in the day. “They’re conservative leaders who will help me articulate my vision to make America more prosperous at home and respected throughout the world.”

Fox News' Bret Baier is interviewing Romney in an exclusive that will air on "Special Report" on Tuesday night.

This is not the first endorsement for Romney by an influential Florida Hispanic. Former U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, also a Cuban-American, has backed the former Massachusetts governor.

Of course, the biggest "get" by any of the candidates in terms of influence among Latino GOP voters in Florida would be Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio told Fox News' Bret Baier in an interview in Miami Monday that he was not planning on endorsing anyone during the primary.

Rubio has close ties to both Gingrich and Romney. Romney campaigned for the freshman senator last year and his political action committee donated money for Rubio's 2010 effort. Gingrich and Rubio share a friendship that goes back to when Rubio was speaker of the Florida state House.

"I have a lot of people running that I have had relationships with who have been helpful to me so I am really not inclined to endorse during the primary," Rubio said.

Serafin Gomez is the Miami Bureau producer for FOX News Channel, and a contributor to FOX News Latino. He covers politics, Florida, and Latin America. Follow him on Twitter: @Finnygo.

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