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Will Ron Paul be the saving grace for Mark Sanford’s campaign?

Rep. Ron PaulFormer Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has endorsed fellow former Rep. Mark Sanford in South Carolina’s special election to fill the state’s vacant congressional seat.

In an email to supporters of Liberty PAC – an organization that seeks “to elect more freedom-loving people like Ron Paul to office” – Paul praised his former House colleague, calling him ” a “strong ally” to the Liberty Movement.

Paul goes on to say that during his time in Congress and as Governor, “Sanford stood strong for limited government and lower taxes – even when that meant standing up to fellow Republicans.”

Sanford, who previously held the same exact congressional seat from 1995-2001 lead his Democratic opponent in the solidly Republican district until recently. He currently trails nine points behind Democratic nominee Elizabeth Colbert-Busch. In the past few weeks his campaign faced a series of devastating mishaps, including cancelled fundraisers and loss of support from the national party, after the Associated Press leaked details of court documents Sanford’s estranged ex-wife Jenny Sanford had filed accusing the candidate of trespassing.

In his endorsement email Paul alleges that “the naysayers are doing literally everything they can to defeat Republican Mark Sanford – even if it means electing a Democrat.”

The former presidential candidate’s endorsement could help rally support for Sanford among libertarians and independents. Paul’s email could be especially appealing to low country voters, who are particularly concerned about the nation’s fiscal issues.

On the other hand, the traditionally solid red state is less than welcoming to strong libertarians – Paul himself didn’t bother to to create official campaign headquarters there in 2012 and went on to finish last in the state’s influential presidential primary.

The congressional special election is on Tuesday, May 7.

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