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Tim Scott, More Republicans Come to Mark Sanford’s Aid #SC01

Scott was appointed to the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Scott was appointed to the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Only nine days ago, former Gov. Mark Sanford invoked the Alamo in a full-page advertisement in his local paper, pleading for reinforcements to his embattled special election campaign. The appeal might have worked.

The latest Republican to offer support is the man whose appointment to the Senate created the seat’s special election:  Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. He’s one of several Republicans and conservatives who offered either verbal or financial support to Sanford in the last week

“Mark Sanford is hands down better on all of [fiscal] issues, and that’s why I believe he merits support,” Scott told the Charleston Post and Courier on Wednesday.

Other Sanford backers include:

  • Gov. Nikki R. Haley is scheduled to appear at a a fundraiser for Sanford on Wednesday evening, via The State newspaper.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham endorsed Sanford over Twitter on Wednesday morning.
  • FreedomWorks PAC endorsed Sanford on Tuesday.
  • Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.,  endorsed Sanford on Tuesday
  • Former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, backed Sanford on Thursday.
  • National Right to Life PAC invested almost $6,000 in mail for Sanford last week.

The recent influx of support is notable because just a few weeks ago, many national Republicans shunned his candidacy.

The National Republican Congressional Committe spurned him after his former wife accused him of trespassing on her property. Other influential GOP third-party groups followed suit, as well several high-ranking Republicans on Capitol Hill. Notably, Republicans in South Carolina’s congressional delegation lacked enthusiasm for Sanford, according to their interviews with the Washington Post.

The change of heart means Democrats are looking for any sign the NRCC might renege on its decision to pull the plug on Sanford. Democratic aides point to the Missouri Senate race in 2012, when the National Republican Senatorial Committee publicly abandoned former Rep. Todd Akin for making controversial statements about rape. Then, later in the cycle, the NRSC funneled $760,000 into the race via the state party.

But NRCC aides say they are sticking with their decision to stay out of the race.

Sanford faces Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch on May 7 in this solidly Republican district. But thanks to Sanford’s personal troubles and a large Democratic investment, this race is competitive.

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