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Perry Presidential Bid Endorsed by 21 S.C. Lawmakers

Local state senators Campbell, Grooms back Texas governor's 2012 campaign.

State Sens. Paul Campbell (R-Goose Creek) and Larry Grooms (R-Bonneau) have endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry in his 2012 GOP Presidential Primary campaign.

The two locals were among 21 legislators listed at the Wednesday opening of Perry's South Carolina campaign headquarters in Columbia. They will all serve on his State Legislative Steering Committee.

Others included Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler of Cherokee County, State Sen. Mike Rose and Rep. Chris Murphy of Summerville, and Rep. Chip Limehouse of Charleston.

Grooms told Patch that the GOP field is full of strong candidates. "I believe that Gov. Perry is the best choice and I think our country deserves no less than the best," he said.

Grooms has been watching Perry since he won the race for lieutenant governor in Texas in 1998.

"The things they've been able to do in Texas that you haven't seen occur in other states is a testament in his ability to get things moving," Grooms said. "A lot of people talk about less government and more private investment, less regulation — he has been able to get that done. That's what we need."

In a statement released by the campaign, Campbell also cited Perry's executive experience. "I believe Governor Perry is the only candidate in the race who can take back the White House and restore a path of prosperity for America," Campbell said. "I'm supporting Rick Perry and I will be encouraging others to do the same."

A new Winthrop University poll released on Tuesday showed Perry holding a narrow lead on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney among South Carolina Republicans.

The results, released Tuesday, show that of respondents who said that they definitely planned to vote in South Carolina's presidential primary, 30.5 percent favored Perry and 27.3 percent supported Romney.

In a poll released in August, Perry held a double-digit lead on Romney.

Influential conservatives in South Carolina, New Hampshire and Iowa described Gov. Rick Perry as a George Bush-like leader who can beat President Obama in a recent Huffington Post/ Patch poll.

Perry was endorsed earlier this month by Mick Mulvaney, a Republican who represents the 5th District in South Carolina's Pee Dee, during the Palmetto Freedom Forum.

But several top S.C. Republican endorsements are yet to come. U.S. Sens. Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham have not tipped their hands, and neither has Gov. Nikki Haley. And other than Mulvaney, none of the Palmetto State's Republican Congressmen have thrown their support to a candidate.

Perry announced his candidacy Aug. 13 in Charleston and picked up a key endorsement seven days later from former U.S. Ambassador and S.C. House Speaker David Wilkins.

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