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Exclusive: Top S.C. Tea Party Senator To Endorse Paul

Senator Tom Davis will throw his weight behind the Texas libertarian, BuzzFeed has learned. The anti-Romney wing of the party starts to take shape.

Posted on January 13, 2012, at 1:53 p.m. ET

Paul campaigns in West Columbia, S.C., earlier this week.
Richard Ellis / Getty Images

Paul campaigns in West Columbia, S.C., earlier this week.

A leading South Carolina conservative and Tea Party champion, State Senator Tom Davis, will endorse Ron Paul Sunday, a South Carolina Republican consultant close to Davis told BuzzFeed.

Davis, former Governor Mark Sanford's former chief-of-staff, has been a vocal critic of government action and of economic development spending backed by other politicians of both parties.

“Senator Tom Davis’ fiscal conservative credentials are outstanding,” South Caroline GOP executive director Matt Moore told the leading state political website, FITSNews, recently. “Any candidate would do well to gain his endorsement.”

Indeed, he was courted by all the leading Republican campaigns.

Davis recently hinted at the coming endorsement, writing on Facebook that he would back "the one candidate in the race for president who has consistently stood for taxpayers."

Davis offers the kind of mainstream conservative support that the Paul campaign, viewed by some as fringe, has worked to amass, and the move marks another step toward the mainstream for the Paul movement.

"I've heard it's true and I hope its true," said Will Folks, founding editor of FITSNews, in an email. "Tom Davis is the gold standard for fiscal conservatives in South Carolina."