SUMTER, S.C. — Amid shaking hands and signing campaign posters, Mitt Romney did something he has never done before on the ropeline: He took out his wallet and handed a wad of cash to a woman waiting to shake his hand.
The woman, 55-year-old Ruth Williams, says she has been following the Romney campaign since he arrived in the state on Jan. 11, when she said she received a message from God to track him down.
“I was on the highway praying and said, ‘God just show me how to get [my] lights on,’ and I pulled up to a stop sign and his bus was there,” said Williams, who has been unemployed since last October. “And then God said, ‘Follow the bus,’ and I followed the bus to the airport.”
According to Williams, she followed the campaign bus to the Columbia airport on Wednesday, the same day Romney was arriving from New Hampshire. When Romney wasn’t on the bus, aides told her to go to the rally scheduled in Columbia later that day. When she showed up, Romney found her to say hello and pulled over South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to say “hello” too.
“He was kind to me and he made Gov. Haley come see about me,” Williams said. “He stopped doing everything.”
Williams, who would not specify how much money Romney gave her, said also that South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis paid her light bill on Thursday. A spokesman for Loftis, one of Romney’s major endorses in the state, confirmed to ABC News that he paid Williams’ bill. While Loftis didn’t know the amount of the bill, he confirmed that he gave her $150.
“God didn’t tell me to go to nobody else, he told me to pray for Romney,” said Williams, when asked why she has decided to support Romney. “I listened to the Lord.”
Williams said she has been volunteering at Romney’s Columbia headquarters since meeting his bus last week.
“I’ve been working at his campaign office cleaning and just doing little things,” she said.
“They really did, they really came through for real,” she said.
While Williams would not specify how much money Romney gave her, a campaign spokesman said that he believes Romney gave the woman between $50 and $60.