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DeMint Endorses Williams in Texas Senate Race

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) on Thursday officially endorsed Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, one of a handful of Republicans seeking the seat that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) is expected to vacate in a few months.DeMint, a prominent conservative voice in the Senate, appeared with Williams in Washington, D.C., to announce an endorsement from his political action committee, Senate Conservatives Fund. The Senator described Williams as “one of those new Republicans who has demonstrated throughout his life the vision and courage and willingness to stand up and fight for principles — principles that he believes are right.—Though DeMint’s backing won’t really influence the thinking of Texas Republican voters, the Senator said he wanted to “bring to people’s attention that there’s a very important race in Texas, and it’s very likely that the next new Senator here in Washington is going to come from Texas.—The Senate Conservatives Fund plans to donate the maximum $10,000 to Williams’ campaign and will also bundle contributions from PAC supporters. DeMint’s PAC raised $1.1 million in the first 10 months of this year.“It is a great honor to stand here on this ground and receive the endorsement of Senator DeMint — someone that through his career has shown a great deal of respect for the principles of limited government and the unleashing of the free market and protecting our country and standing up for traditional values,— Williams said.A special Senate election can be scheduled after Hutchison resigns her seat, sometime after she competes against Gov. Rick Perry in a Republican gubernatorial primary on March 2.Other Republicans in the Senate race include State Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones, former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams and state Sen. Florence Shapiro. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R)presently is seeking re-election to his current post but could switch to the Senate race. John Sharp, a former state comptroller, is running on the Democratic side.Williams is the fourth Republican that DeMint’s PAC has endorsed in a 2010 Senate Republican primary. The Senate Conservatives Fund has backed former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) over Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania before Specter became a Democrat; former state Speaker Marco Rubio, who is running against Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for an open Senate seat; and Chuck DeVore, a California state legislator who is battling former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina for the right to challenge Sen. Barbara Boxer (D).

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