Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign announced Monday that he has the endorsement of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

Hatch, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2000, has already publicly backed Romney. Last month, during a Romney fund-raiser in Salt Lake City, Hatch said he'd "supported him long before people knew he was a Mormon" and called him "an exceptional man."

In a press release issued by the Romney campaign, Hatch said Utahns remember well how Romney turned around the 2002 Winter Games as the head of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.

Hatch said Romney's term as governor of Massachusetts following the Olympics "is equally remarkable. At a time of unprecedented challenges, we need to elect an innovative problem solver like Governor Romney."

Romney labeled Hatch "a powerful and effective conservative voice" in the U.S. Senate, "a leading authority on judicial matters (who) has worked to cut down the size of government and let hardworking Americans keep more of what they earn."

Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, has already endorsed Romney.