5th District congressional candidate Ralph Norman got a big boost Thursday, winning the endorsement of former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-Greenville.
DeMint, the former head of the Heritage Foundation and a Tea Party icon, said Norman “has a proven record of fighting for conservative principles” and would help “drain the swamp” in Washington.
“His conservative voting record shows that he will stand up for taxpayers against the special interests, and fight for personal freedom, lower taxes and a smaller government.”
DeMint’s endorsement comes as a new poll from the Trafalgar Group shows Norman and his GOP runoff opponent, House Speaker Pro Tempore Tommy Pope, R-York, in a virtual tie, heading into Tuesday’s election.
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DeMint was a congressman from South Carolina’s 4th District from 1999 to 2005 and U.S. senator from 2005 until 2013, when he resigned to become head of the Heritage Foundation. DeMint was removed by the Heritage Foundation’s board last week amid tensions over the conservative think tank’s direction.
Norman also was endorsed Thursday by U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Springdale.
Wilson, from the neighboring 2nd District, said he has supported Norman since he ran unsuccessfully against former U.S. Rep. John Spratt, D-York, in 2006.
“I learned firsthand of the competence and dedication of Ralph, who I know would be an effective member of Congress,” Wilson said. “Ralph’s campaign today is a continuation of those same principles we share — a strong national defense, limited government and expanded freedom.”