As the late-breaking race to fill the First District seat heats up, two of the nine GOP candidates have begun to announce a series of endorsements from elected officials from one end of the other of the coastal district.
While both State Rep. Tim Scott and Charleston County Councilman Paul Thurmond have announced numerous endorsements in recent weeks, Scott has rolled out a series of high-profile endorsements from across the district in the last two weeks, most notably House Speaker Bobby Harrell, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon and most of the Berkeley County legislative delegation.
Tim Scott's endorsement roll includes:
All of Berkeley County's resident GOP legislators: Senators Larry Grooms and Paul Campbell, State Representatives Jim Merrill, David Umphlett, and Joe Daning
Charleston County politicos House Speaker Bobby Harrell and Sheriff Al Cannon
Charleston area mayors: Mt. Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails, Goose Creek Mayor Mike Heitzler, and Lincolnville Mayor Tyrone Aiken
Horry County Rep. Alan Clemmons, a long-time local GOP leader
Paul Thurmond's list of supporters includes:
Myrtle Beach Mayor Pro Tem Phil Render and Council members Wayne Gray, Mike Lowder, and Randal Wallace
Berkeley County officials: Sheriff Wayne DeWitt, Clerk of Court Mary Brown, Auditor Janet Brown Jurosko and Coroner Glenn Rhoad
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey
Former 1st District Congressmen Arthur Ravenel and Tommy Hartnett
While endorsements aren't everything in influencing voters, candidates who line up major blocs of endorsees in major races tend to fare better with voters than their competitors who fail to garner such support. With these two lining up support, as well as leading the fundraising chase, it seems as if the other seven Republicans seeking the GOP nomination are going to have an increasingly difficult road in their bids.