Santorum stumps for Sanford opponent

Updated
File Photo: Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum gestures as he walks on stage during the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 28,...
File Photo: Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum gestures as he walks on stage during the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 28,...
Spencer Platt/Getty Images File

Rick Santorum is putting himself between former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and a political comeback. The 2012 presidential candidate endorsed Sanford’s opponent in the 1st Congressional District runoff, former Charleston County councilman Curtis Bostic, on Tuesday.

Santorum is holding two campaign events with Bostic—in North Charleston and Summerville—on Wednesday.

“Curtis’ groundswell finish to a runoff spot signals a win for the strength of his grassroots supporters and his robust conservative values,” Santorum said in a statement. “We must continue that momentum for Curtis into the runoff election, and I look forward to joining conservatives across South Carolina in helping to elect Curtis Bostic to the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Bostic, who won just 13% of the vote in March 19th primary, is counting on the support of evangelicals and social conservatives in his underdog bid against Sanford, who took 37% of the vote.

With less than a week until next Tuesday’s runoff, Sanford benefits from high name recognition and more campaign money. Santorum’s former communications director Hogan Gidley worked for the third-place finisher in the race, State Sen. Larry Grooms.

Santorum’s endorsement will test his leverage with social conservatives, as he tries to stay politically relevant and looks ahead to 2016. It could also provide a form of vindication: He ended last year’s South Carolina primary with a disappointing third-place finish.

Wednesday’s trip will not be Santorum’s only upcoming trip to an early primary state. In mid-April, he’ll speak to social conservatives at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition spring meeting.

Santorum stumps for Sanford opponent

Updated