UPDATED TO INCLUDE ENDORSEMENTS THROUGH March 26
It's debatable how much endorsements from fellow politicians actually matter in this day and age. That doesn't mean candidates don't seek them out, especially in a competitive race like the one for the First Congressional District.
The biggest boost for a candidate in SC1 would be the endorsement of the former occupant of the seat, Tim Scott. But Scott has consistently said he's staying out of the contest.
The next most influential endorsement would be from Gov. Nikki Haley. In the last week, multiple sources have told Patch that Sen. Larry Grooms is actively seeking the governor's support. But sources close to Haley told Patch that it won't be coming, and furthermore, Grooms hasn't even formally asked for it.
The District is an important one for Haley's re-election prospects in 2014. It's in her interest, of course, that the seat stay Republican. But it does not make sense to endorse a candidate in the primary who may not win the nomination, which could potentially alienate the eventual nominee. The risk doesn't equal the reward.
Sen. Lindsay Graham and Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-4) and Tom Rice (R-7) have been tight-lipped about who they might endorse, if anyone.
Here's a look at endorsements so far:
- Endorsed by the website freedomdefenders.com.
- More than 100 small business owners
- Former SC1 candidate and State Senator John Kuhn
- Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum
- 60 Plus Association via spokesperson Pat Boone
Elizabeth Colbert Busch:
- Endorsed by former Democratic nominee for the seat Bobbie Rose.
- SC Democratic Women's Council
- Former Democratic contender Martin Skelly
- Rep. James Clyburn and the AFL-CIO
- Charleston Mayor Joe Riley
- Pundit and editor of RedState.com Erick Erickson
- Former Director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance, Scott Richardson
- Former SC1 candidate and current Charleston County School Board member Elizabeth Moffly
- Former SC1 candidates Keith Blandford, Jonathan Hoffman, Jeff King, Ray Nash and Shawn Pinkston
- The Republican Liberty Council of South Carolina, which had previously endorsed Ray Nash
- Numerous past and present Beaufort Co. officials
But do these endorsements matter to voters?