Jon Huntsman Picks Up Key South Carolina Endorsement

By Eliza

Jul 12, 2011 9:48am

ap jon huntsman south carolina nt 110712 wb Jon Huntsman Picks Up Key South Carolina Endorsement

ABC News' Sarah Kunin (@Sarah_Kunin) reports:

Jon Huntsman will announce today that he has garnered the endorsement of late South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell’s family.  Mike Campbell, Gov. Campbell’s youngest son and 2008 South Carolina Chairman of Mike Huckabee’s campaign, will be joined by his mother, First Lady Iris Campbell , and his brother, Caroll III, at an event in Greenville, South Carolina this afternoon to formally declare their support.

“Jon Huntsman is the kind of leader America needs in the White House," First Lady Iris Campbell says in a press release to be released later today. "He is a principled conservative who always fights for what he believes. Carroll would have enjoyed supporting Jon, and I am proud to offer my support."

"I am extremely impressed by Gov. Huntsman and his record of accomplishment in Utah," Carroll Campbell, III continues. "He balanced budgets, created jobs and passed free-market health care reform without mandates. As Gov. Huntsman travels this state and spreads his message, I am confident South Carolinians will rally around the campaign."

Mike Campbell, who already confirmed in May that he will back Huntsman, adds: "As governor of Utah, Jon Huntsman demonstrated he is the type of problem-solver our country needs. He is the right leader for our party and our country in this important election."

Huntsman has also earned the support of Henry McMaster, former South Carolina Attorney General and a longtime leader of the South Carolina Republican Party. At a GOP barbeque in Greer, South Carolina last night, McMaster told the crowd, “Among all the great Republican candidates, and we sure got some good ones, this is the one that  [wife] Peggy and I have decided on and that’s Jon Huntsman”

He continued to explain the historical significance of South Carolina’s primary, the first in the south. “This is where we pick presidents in this country,” McMaster said. “We started with our primary in 1980 and the man who won it was Ronald Reagan. Since that time there have been 8 elections where we could have had that primary. We’ve had 7 times the one that won it was the one that got the nomination. Of course George HW Bush was re-nominated.”

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