GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty on Friday picked up the endorsement of Rep. Joe WilsonJoe WilsonGOP labors for healthcare win Crowd chants 'you lie' at Joe Wilson's town hall: report Military leaders warn of bleak future with short-term defense funding MORE (R), who hails from the key early primary state of South Carolina.

Wilson will serve as a co-chairman to the former Minnesota governor's campaign in South Carolina.

"Congressman Wilson has been a strong conservative voice for the people of South Carolina over the past decade," Pawlenty said in a statement. "I am honored to receive his support in this campaign to restore America."

Wilson called Pawlenty "the best man to get our nation back on the right track," one with "a remarkable record of conservative accomplishments in a politically tough state for Republicans, and someone who has the kind of bold vision for America’s future that we need to defeat Barack ObamaBarack ObamaObama photographer shoots DC portfolio for President Underwood of 'House of Cards' Trump, Netanyahu all smiles in joint remarks Republicans are preparing extreme immigration measures MORE."
 
The congressman was little-known on the national level before 2009, when he shouted, "You lie!" at President Obama during his address to a joint address in Congress after the president said that his healthcare law wouldn't provide insurance coverage to illegal immigrants.

Pawlenty has spent less time in South Carolina than he has in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first caucus and primary states, but he is still looking to build support in the Palmetto State. He hired a political director to serve there last month. 

The ex-governor has been meeting with small groups of House Republicans over the past several weeks in an effort to form ties with the Capitol Hill GOP. He already has the support of two lawmakers from his home state: Reps. Erik Paulsen (R) and John Kline (R).

Pawlenty endorsed Wilson during his reelection race in 2010, when he carried South Carolina's 2nd congressional district by 10 points.

— This post was updated at 7:20 a.m.