Ron DeSantis builds ‘grassroots momentum’ in South Carolina

Building on efforts to overperform in early voting states, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has picked up seven endorsements in South Carolina, in a move the campaign describes as building “grassroots momentum.”

The endorsements come from local city and county leaders, a School Board member, a Watershed Commissioner and two former state Representatives.

Former state Rep. Edie Rodgers said he is backing DeSantis because “delivering results and winning matters.”

“It mattered for me growing the Republican Party, serving on city council, and passing conservative bills in the legislature. It matters today to stop and reverse our nation’s decline,” Rodgers said. “Ron DeSantis has proven he is a winner who delivers on his promises. That’s why he has earned my support and that of more than 50 elected officials in South Carolina.”

Greg Addison, a City Council member in Union City, praised DeSantis for his service to the country.

“Like so many in South Carolina, myself included, Ron DeSantis wore the uniform to protect our freedoms. His sacrifice, service, and unwavering leadership is desperately needed in our nation and across the world. Mission-focused and principled conservative, Ron DeSantis has earned my trust to be the strong President we need,” Addison said.

Other Palmetto State endorsers include:

— Lancaster County Council member Jose Luis.

— Oconee County Council member Don Mize.

— Greenwood School Board member David Trent.

— Rabon Creek Watershed Commissioner Matthew Brownlee.

— Former state Rep. Todd Atwater.

The endorsements come after DeSantis unveiled a South Carolina Veterans Coalition Leadership team last month and a Faith and Freedom Coalition in September.

DeSantis continues to struggle in the polls, narrowly holding on to the No. 2 spot far behind former President Donald Trump. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is threatening to overtake DeSantis as the Trump alternative, and in some states has already done so.

South Carolina is an important state for any GOP presidential candidate not named Trump as they try to prove momentum in a race that most pundits all but guarantee for Trump. As of Nov. 13, Trump commanded just shy of 50% support in South Carolina, with DeSantis trailing at just 11.4% support. Haley has a solid lead over DeSantis in her home state, at nearly 21% support, according to FiveThirtyEight.

South Carolina awards delegates on a proportional formula, meaning even second- and third-place finishers can walk away with some of the state’s 50 delegates.

South Carolina lost its spot, at the insistence of President Joe Biden, as the first-in-the-South Primary for Democrats, but the Palmetto State maintains that designation for the GOP Primary, which is Feb. 24.

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