- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said Wednesday he plans to vote for Donald Trump after Ohio Gov. John Kasich, his preferred candidate, became the final Trump challenger to drop out of the Republican presidential primary.

Sandoval, a moderate Republican, had expressed doubts recently about supporting Trump if he was the nominee, telling reporters he was concerned by statements the billionaire real estate developer made.

“Now that (Kasich) has dropped out of the race, I plan to vote for the presumptive nominee although it is no secret that we do not agree on every issue,” Sandoval said in a statement posted to his Facebook page. “Elections are about making choices and the Democratic nominee is simply not an option.”

Sandoval voted for Marco Rubio in Nevada’s February caucuses but formally endorsed Kasich in April after Rubio dropped out.

Republican elected officials have struggled on how to respond to the polarizing Trump. Sen. Dean Heller said Wednesday he vehemently opposed some things Trump has said, including comments about immigrants that he said have alienated Hispanic voters and could affect Republican chances in Nevada’s competitive Senate race.

“I just can’t agree with some of his positions,” said Heller, who didn’t commit on Wednesday to vote for Trump. “But I will tell you that I will not be voting for Hillary Clinton. I will not be supporting a candidate who is nothing more than a third term of the Obama administration.”

He noted that Nevada allows voters to choose “none of these candidates” on the ballot, although he didn’t commit to that option either.

While Sandoval and Heller aren’t up for re-election this year, two of their Republican colleagues face tough races that could be further complicated by Trump.

Rep. Joe Heck, who’s running for U.S. Senate, and Rep. Cresent Hardy, who’s in a Democratic-leaning district, have said they’ll support their party’s nominee.

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