New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu endorses Nikki Haley

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu endorsed Nikki Haley on Tuesday night in a move that could further elevate her GOP presidential candidacy in a key early-voting state.

The endorsement, announced at a town hall event, comes as Haley has risen in national and state polls in recent weeks in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

“An older woman was coming to a lot of events, and I saw her coming in here,” Sununu said at the event as he introduced Haley. “And she said, ‘So are you going to finally endorse Nikki Haley for president?’ You bet your a– I am!”

“We are all in on Nikki Haley,” he added.

Three sources close to Sununu confirmed to NBC News earlier Tuesday that he would endorse Haley. New Hampshire-based TV station WMUR first reported the news that Sununu planned to endorse Haley.

The endorsement puts an end to the idea that Sununu would get behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, as some Republicans try to consolidate support for a candidate besides former President Donald Trump in the GOP primary.

Haley has held strong in New Hampshire, consistently polling second to Trump.

Sununu’s backing is a potential boost to Haley, particularly as she attempts to lay out a compelling argument that she has a path beyond Iowa. Sununu, who is vehemently anti-Trump and flirted with running for president himself, is popular in New Hampshire.

Haley has been polling in second place in the New Hampshire primary for months, but former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has also pulled double-digit support in the last two public surveys of the state. Both have been running strong among self-described moderate and independent voters planning to participate in the GOP primary.

Sununu’s endorsement could help Haley consolidate the group and pull closer to Trump ahead of the Jan. 23 primary, though he has long held wide polling leads in the state.

However, it’s also unclear how much of an impact endorsements can make in the early-voting states. A recent NBC News poll found that Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ endorsement of DeSantis barely moved the needle among potential caucusgoers.

Asked by NBC News how confident she was that Sununu’s endorsement would do more than Reynolds’ did for DeSantis, Haley said: “Let’s see what happens. I think it’s going to be good.”

“We won’t know until the time comes,” she added.

Asked whether he’d consider being Haley’s running mate, Sununu said: “Hard pass. I just want to help.”

The New Hampshire Democratic Party put out a statement calling Sununu and Haley “MAGA extremists who spent years cozying up to Donald Trump.”

“Both Sununu and Haley have signed extreme abortion bans with no exceptions for rape or incest, endorsed notorious election deniers like Don Bolduc” — the Republican who lost the Senate race in New Hampshire last year to incumbent Democrat Maggie Hassan — “railed against crucial programs like the Affordable Care Act, and pushed tax cuts for the ultra rich that left working families behind. Let’s be absolutely clear: there’s nothing moderate, reasonable, or electable about their agenda,” the statement read.