A group of 10 South Carolina officials that previously backed Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) for the 2024 presidential race have switched their support to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R-Fla.) campaign, after Scott dropped out last week.
The list, first shared with The Associated Press, is topped by state Reps. Bill Taylor and Tom Hartnett Jr., who were among the first wave of endorsements for Scott after he launched his campaign this summer, in addition to municipal leaders, the AP reported.
“Ron DeSantis is the leader we need for this exact moment,” Hartnett said. “He not only is the only candidate who I know can win, but he will be a president who will follow through on his promises to reverse the decline of our country.”
DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley are battling for the South Carolina senator’s former supporters. Haley is also the former governor of the the Palmetto State.
The pair are neck-and-neck for second place in many primary polls, with each arguing that they have the best shot of defeating former President Trump in the GOP primary, despite his sizable lead.
DeSantis has 68 endorsements from elected officials in South Carolina, more than have been announced by any other presidential candidate, his campaign told the AP.
Scott’s exit from the race came as a surprise to most, with the Senator making the announcement on a morning Fox News appearance hosted by former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy (R).
South Carolina is considered a critical battleground in the GOP primary as an early voting state. Despite attempts from DeSantis and Haley to steal support away from Trump, the former president retains a significant lead on the field.
About 59 percent of Republicans support the former president for the GOP nomination, according to national polling averages, despite his numerous legal battles.
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