By State Senator Joseph Kyrillos, Jr.

In the early months of the campaign for the presidency, many of the candidates are promising changes in Washington. But I am convinced that the best candidate to actually deliver lasting change and new leadership is Governor Mitt Romney.

I have gotten to know Governor Romney over the last few years; I have watched with admiration as he has built major businesses, rescued the Winter Olympics from scandal and debt, and helped Massachusetts turn budget deficits into budget surpluses.

I have seen him deliver practical solutions to some of the toughest problems facing American families today: the high cost of college and the high cost of health insurance. As someone who has worked hard on those and related issues here in New Jersey, I can tell you Governor Romney's ideas have turned heads across the country for their wisdom.

Anyone who has studied this man's career knows why he succeeded as governor. Governor Romney has a lifetime of real world experience €” managing, guiding and leading. Unlike the politicians trapped inside Washington's Beltway, Governor Romney has learned what makes America move forward, and he is ready to tap that enormous wellspring of energy.

We face a mountain of red ink because of overspending and insufficient oversight in Washington. In Massachusetts, Governor Romney vetoed hundreds of wasteful appropriations to help achieve a balanced budget in each of the four years he led the state.

Unlike any other Republican candidate, Governor Romney has laid out a plan to bring spending discipline to Washington. He will veto budgets that do not cap non-defense discretionary spending at less than the rate of inflation; Governor Romney supports giving the President line-item veto authority and would use it to remove pork and other forms of wasteful spending from spending bills; he proposes that the President be given the authority to spend up to 25 percent less than Congress budgets in each appropriation. And Governor Romney said that he will personally lead a top-to-bottom review of government spending.

Importantly, Governor Romney understands that when governments run deficits, the last thing you should do is raise taxes. Raising taxes only takes money out of the hands of people who could be investing, saving, and creating jobs €” the kinds of activities that lead to greater tax revenues down the road. That is why he has pledged to support making the Bush tax relief permanent.

Governor Romney also understands that the strength of any society cannot be measured by the size of the economy. We also show our strength by building successful families, defending the sanctity of life and by supporting traditional marriage. Time and time again, Governor Romney has stood for these basic values, both in the way he has led his life, and in the way he led his state.

Overseas, we face difficult foes in Iraq, Iran, and throughout the Middle East. These Islamic Jihadists are bent on the destruction of our allies and our way of life. Governor Romney has taken the lead among Republican candidates in identifying the threat of Islamic Jihadism, and in articulating a realistic plan for victory over these threats, including the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.

In particular, he understands the difficult job our military is being asked to handle every day, sometimes without the support it deserves in Washington. Governor Romney supports new investment in America's military, and will focus that funding on what our troops want: The weapons, training, and support which will assure victory over our enemies.

Of course, the voters cannot anticipate every challenge that a president may face in four years. We need a leader ready to rise to every occasion- a leader that embodies the qualities necessary to uplift and inspire our great nation. In much the same way Ronald Reagan did not so many years ago, Governor Romney is ready and has the ability to call upon the fundamental strengths of the American people so that we are encouraged to reach for a better tomorrow. Over the next few months, the American people will get to see this special quality up close as I have had the privilege of seeing so many times before.

Governor Romney has displayed a remarkable ability over many years to stand squarely for stronger families, a stronger economy, a stronger military and individual liberty. Those pillars are the backbone of this country, and with Governor Romney in the White House, we will meet the new challenges of the 21st century.