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UPDATE: Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott Endorse Mark Sanford in SC1 Race

First statewide official or member of Congressional delegation to endorse the former governor.

UPDATED: 4:45 p.m. - This afternoon, Sen. Tim Scott, who Sanford is trying to replace as the House member from the First District, told Republicans that Sanford "merits support."

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Patch has learned that Sen. Lindsey Graham will endorse former Gov. Mark Sanford in the First Congressional District race. 

The endorsement by one Republican for another in the general election phase might not normally be considered significant, but Graham is the first member of the Congressional delegation to support Sanford publicly. 

Graham made the announcement via Twitter in a series of tweets on Wednesday morning. He said, "Let's not forget that when the Democrats controlled everything, we got #ObamaCare and trillions in new debt. #sc1 @MarkSanford."

And:

"The Obama Democrats already control the Senate, making the House of Representatives the last line of defense against the Democratic agenda...The bottom line is that no Republican or conservative independent can afford to sit on the sidelines for this race."

And: 

"In Congress, @MarkSanford will vote to cut wasteful spending, eliminate debt & make gov't work for the taxpayer. We need him in Washington."

Gov. Nikki Haley is reportedly attending a fundraiser for Sanford in the Lowcountry today.

Both Graham and Haley are expected to face strong re-election challenges next year. The prospect of the SC1 seat going to a Democrat could hurt their chances, especially Haley's, Graham less so, since his biggest threat appears to from within the SCGOP.

But Graham's backing of Sanford could very well extend beyond political pragmatism. Both men entered the House of Representatives as part of the Republican wave in 1994. And Graham is the godfather to one of Sanford's sons.

The endorsement comes at a critical time for Sanford. He has been abandoned by the NRCC and members of South Carolina's congressional delegation have been quiet about supporting him. Some Republicans in the Lowcountry had asked for that to change.

Sanford has received the public support of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH). The conservative group FreedomWorks has also thrown its supported behind the former governor. Sanford also has received support that he probably did not want.

Election Day is less than a week away on May 7. Sanford will face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch and Eugene Platt of the Green Party.

Keep up with all of Patch's coverage of South Carolina politics by following us on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.

Tony May 01, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Senator Graham, endorsing my write-in campaign instead of following party line would show that you support the people in the district as I am a man of the people and for the people.
Ken May 01, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Who didn't see that coming, one mentally deficient politician endorsing another.
JackDaniel Davis May 01, 2013 at 10:06 PM
the whole world is against lindsy http://news.yahoo.com/lindsey-graham-terrible-expert-everything-204300213.html?bcmt_s=m#ugccmt-container
Kathy May 02, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Well they are both idiots to want a person in that office who ABANDONS HIS POST. Imagine if the president went off radar even to the secret service for days.
Tony May 02, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Well Kathy, I don't agree with them supporting Sanford, but I do understand why they are doing it. As it appears that the SC Republican Party is still behind Sanford even though the National Party has abandon him to his own devices. Being republicans of South Carolina they have to toe the party line with a fellow republican candidate; it don't matter whether or not they like him or believe in him. Just one of the items that broke with the two major parties; as they will not standup and support a write-in campaign even with cause due to their primary winner is not what he or she appear to be during the primary. Note; while the national party is not helping Sanford, they not hinder him either.
Pam Ireland May 02, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Naturally. They are simply endorsing Sanford on the basis of GOP party lines, without even considering the integrity or judgment of the candidate. If a Democratic candidate had been guilty of ANY of the things that Sanford has done to us (lying, abandoning his duties as Governor, using taxpayer dollars to fly first class to Argentina and visit his mistress and for other personal purposes) you can be sure they would say this person is UNFIT for office and should be in JAIL!
Tony May 02, 2013 at 03:42 PM
Pam, just to be fair about you said. If this was more of a democrat leaning state and if a democrat candidate has been found lacking; the other democrat office holders would toe the party line as well and back that candidate. This is one of those issues that cross party lines; therefore breaking our political system.
JackDaniel Davis May 02, 2013 at 04:16 PM
I think most people who watched the debate missed an important point. Sanford could not conceive of a policitican who would not sell their vote for support. I do not think ECB would sell her vote for a conribution from anyone. I think she is independant. Marks posture shows he would sell his vote. To be otherwise , to him, is inconceivable.
reg May 02, 2013 at 04:48 PM
In my opinion, these last minute endorsement announcements were only to drown out Sanford's "endorsement" from Hustler publisher Larry Flynt. Weeks ago, media in DC had asked all of SC's GOP reps/sens if they would endorse Sanford, and most of them -- Scott included --- walked away without answering the question.
Jebediah Bush May 03, 2013 at 05:26 PM
This was all Jenny’s Sanford's fault, she let herself “go” and forced Mark to outsource their martial relations to Argentina. Now Jenny is one of the “takers” that Mitt warned us about with her excessive alimony and so called “child support” demands! Typical lazy and unmotivated US worker that Mark so often talks about! Besides, Gov Nikki Haley supports Mark Sanford - Adulterers are US! or is it "Birds of a feather?" Mark only used our Tax Dollars because he could get some hot Argentina poontang, and any red blooded family values guy can understand that, I understand why his hysterical and emotional opponent does not. Further, his son put Mark in a bad situation (and should apologize to SC Voters) by wanting to leave the Superbowl party. What was Mark to do – the only place this new technology called “Television” is available is in downtown Charleston and Jenny’s house.
Ajay Jain May 04, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Watch the ONLY debate between Elizabeth Colbert Busch and Mark Sanford and decide who to vote for! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpPy5u7EszM

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