Sheldon Adelson-owned Las Vegas Review-Journal endorses Marco Rubio

Story highlights

  • The Las Vegas Review-Journal has endorsed Marco Rubio for the GOP caucuses in Nevada
  • The newspaper was recently purchased by the family of casino billionaire and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson
  • Adelson is expected to back a candidate this year, but has not yet done so publicly

Washington (CNN)The Las Vegas Review-Journal, recently acquired by the family of Republican casino billionaire mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, is endorsing Marco Rubio for the upcoming GOP caucuses there.

Rubio, the paper wrote Friday, is more electable than either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
Adelson, owner of Las Vegas Sands, is an active conservative donor whose primary cause is maintaining U.S. support for Israel. He is expected to spend considerable amounts to benefit a GOP candidate, but has not personally endorsed one and he is watched closely for any clues as to his eventual decision.
The newspaper maintains its endorsement is independent, noting the editorial board interviewed Rubio two months before it was announced the newspaper was sold to the Adelson family last fall.
"The Adelsons have detached themselves from our endorsement process, and our endorsement of Sen. Rubio does not represent the support of the family," the paper wrote.
"The paper made the decision before the purchase," Andy Abboud, senior vice president of Las Vegas Sands, told CNN.
In endorsing Rubio, the newspaper notes Rubio's "deep personal connections to the state," as he lived in the Las Vegas Valley area for six years as a child. The editorial takes favorable views of Rubio's position that the federal government should transfer some of its land holdings to private ownership, and stated desire to fix the immigration and entitlement systems.
The paper also said Rubio can do better in the general election than other Republican contenders.
"Electability is also in Sen. Rubio's favor," the Review-Journal wrote. "Mr. Trump and Sen. Cruz, the leading GOP candidates at this point, have liabilities in November, when everyone has the chance to vote. Sen. Rubio has the ideas and the charisma to bring independents and moderates under the GOP tent."
Trump was not considered for the newspaper's endorsement, the editorial said, as he was unable to meet in person with the editorial board.
The Nevada Republican caucuses are on February 23.