Rick Santorum, a 2012 Republican presidential contender and former Pennsylvania senator, endorsed Curtis Bostic on Tuesday in the 1st Congressional District runoff.
The move is expected to further bolster Bostic's support among the district's social conservatives and evangelical Christians. It's a group Santorum courted heavily during his 2012 S.C. primary run.
Santorum is now chairman of the Patriot Voices political action committee.
"Curtis' groundswell finish to a runoff spot signals a win for the strength of his grassroots supporters and his robust conservative values," Santorum said in a statement. "We must continue that momentum for Curtis into the runoff election, and I look forward to joining conservatives across South Carolina in helping to elect Curtis Bostic to the U.S. House of Representatives."
Santorum and Bostic, a Charleston attorney and former Charleston County Council member, will campaign together today, at two stops:
Santorum placed third in the S.C. 2012 primary, just a day after he won the Iowa caucuses. He finished behind Newt Gingrich, who won the state's primary, and Mitt Romney, who eventually won the Republican nomination.
Santorum has a personal S.C. connection. His brother, Dan Santorum, lives on Hilton Head Island.
Also Tuesday, Bostic picked up endorsements from retired Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, a Medal of Honor recipient; and retired Rear Adm. James H. Flatley II, CEO of the S.C. Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Charleston.
Bostic is a former Marine who was deployed to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm.
He faces former Gov. Mark Sanford in Tuesday's runoff. The former governor has gained endorsements from six of the Republicans who lost in last week's GOP primary.
- Mark Sanford leads in campaign money; Curtis Bostic camp says it's not worried, March 22, 2013
- Opinions split on whether Bostic can topple Sanford in GOP runoff, March 20, 2013