Endorsement Watch: Campbells Endorse Huckabee
Who: Ex-SC first lady Iris Campbell, and son Mike Campbell
For: Ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR)
Who else courted them: Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain
Significance level: (1 to 10) 6
Background: Iris Rhodes Campbell is the wife of the late Carroll Campbell II, beloved SC governor from '87 to '94,, and before that, a critical player in the movement to make SC a must-win primary for GOP presidential candidates. Seen as a bit of a kingmaker for GOP presidential candidates. Did we mention: beloved by many rank-and-file Republicans?
Campbell was SE regional chair for George H.W. Bush's campaign in '88 and endorsed George W. Bush in '00. Son Mike Campbell lost a run-off primary bid for SC Lt. Gov. in '06.
Note that Carroll Campbell III, the couple's other son, endorsed Sen. John McCain. Also, be aware that Warren Tompkins, who is Romney's chief consultant in the state, was never a favorite of the Campbell family.
Huckabee's release notes this bit of history: "In 1980, the first South Carolina primary was held. That year the SC party established led by Sen. Strom Thurmond and former Gov. Jim Edwards supported early frontrunner, John Connelly. However, Carroll and Iris Campbell decided to support the underdog, Ronald Reagan."
The full release is after the jump.