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Leading SC Republicans endorse Rick Perry for 2012

By Jim Davenport

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Aug. 20 2011 9:36 a.m. MDT

Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, recognizes a face in the crowd as he takes the stage to speak to members of the South Carolina GOP during a lunch in Columbia, S.C., Friday, Aug. 19, 2011.

Brett Flashnick, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Texas Gov. Rick Perry has picked up two important endorsements in South Carolina for his 2012 presidential campaign.

Longtime state legislator David Wilkins, who played a big role in George W. Bush's White House races, says he's signing onto Perry's bid. And Harvey Peeler, majority leader in the state Senate, is jumping on the Perry bandwagon, too.

Wilkins, who rose to House speaker before Bush named him ambassador to Canada, and Peeler are the most notable backers to announce their support for a candidate in early primary-voting South Carolina.

Both endorsements even though U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of encouraged fellow leading Republicans in South Carolina to hold off for now on making endorsements.

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