Carly Fiorina, rising in the polls for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, registered for the S.C. primary on Wednesday and became the 10th GOP candidate to enter the Feb. 20 race.
The remaining five candidates, including front-runner Donald Trump, have until next Wednesday to submit $40,000 checks to enter the South’s first presidential primary.
Others who have not registered include Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
S.C GOP chairman Matt Moore said he expected Trump, Paul and Christie to apply before the deadline in a week.
It remains unclear if former Govs. George Pataki of New York and Jim Gilmore of Virginia, who both are polling at the back of the 15-candidate pack, will sign up for the S.C. race.
Registering for the S.C. primary does not mean candidates will last another five months for the primary. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed up for the third Republicans test in the 2016 race but suspended his campaign this week.
Fiorina spoke to several hundred people gathered at Hudson’s Smokehouse BBQ in Lexington before registering for the race at the S.C. GOP headquarters in Columbia.
Her appearance attracted Republican politicians including: U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson of Springdale; S.C. Sen. Katrina Shealy of Lexington; and S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman.
Wilson is backing U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of Seneca. Shealy and Spearman said they have not chosen a candidate to endorse yet.
They all said they wanted to see the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive whose debate performance put her second in a CNN poll.
Sally Atwater, the widow of famed S.C. political operative Lee Atwater, also came despite backing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
"I’m a woman always looking at women who are running," said Atwater, who ran for education superintendent last year. "She’s done great in the debates." She also teased that Fiorina could make a good running mate for Bush.
Fiorina told the crowd at Hudson’s she does not favor raising the minimum wage, backs zero-based budgeting, wants to overhaul the tax code and favors reforming immigrations laws.
She said she also believes that Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is lying about sending and receiving classified emails while she was secretary of state.
But like at the debate last week, Fiorina spoke of how her life experiences would make her a strong president.
"I have battled cancer. I have buried a child. I am tested and will not falter in this fight."