Perry Presidential Bid Endorsed by 21 S.C. Lawmakers
Four local lawmakers back Texas governor's 2012 campaign.
Four Upstate lawmakers have endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry in his 2012 GOP Presidential Primary Campaign.
State Reps. Eric Bedingfield (R-District 28), Dan Hamilton (R-Distirct 20), Tommy Stringer (R-District 18) and Mark Willis (R-District 16) said Perry is the right candidate for the job.
The four local representatives were among 21 legislators listed at the 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 Cherokee County, State Sen. Mike Rose and Rep. Chris Murphy of Summerville, and Rep. Chip Limehouse of Charleston.
Bedingfield told Patch that Perry’s record on the two biggest issues in the election—jobs and the economy—are what earned his endorsement. “I look at what Gov. Perry has done in those areas in Texas and I know he’s got a record to run on,” Bedingfield said.
Bedingfield did not share the concerns of some members of the GOP who question Perry’s electability. “Every candidate that’s running has glitches,” Bedingfield said. “But without a doubt I think (Gov. Perry) is very electable.”
Garry Smith, who is Bedingfield’s neighbor in the 27th District, has not endorsed a candidate. He told Patch, “I have some concerns with the two leading candidates (Perry and Mitt Romney).”
Smith also expressed a reluctance to endorse in general saying, “I do not feel comfortable telling people how to vote.”
In a release from the campaign, Stringer said that Perry could get the country back on the "right path."
"Governor Perry not only has a fiscally conservative record, he also is a social conservative who shares our family values," Stringer said. "The leadership he has shown in balancing the budget and his commitment in protecting the unborn is exactly the type of leadership and commitment we need in Washington.”
Willis said in the campaign release that his support of Perry came from the belief that Perry is "the candidate of the people."
“Governor Perry’s humble beginnings, his upbringing, and his proven conservative record as Governor of Texas are very appealing to voters looking for a real change," Willis said. "The people want someone they can trust and I believe Rick Perry is that person.”
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.