Wilson is the senior Republican in the state's House delegation, with his four GOP colleagues all freshman. Among these lesser-known lawmakers is Rep. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottDemocrats lead in diversity in new Congress despite GOP gains The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Pfizer unveils detailed analysis of COVID-19 vaccine & next steps GOP senators congratulate Harris on Senate floor MORE (R-S.C.), who could generate headlines with his endorsement of a candidate. Scott is the first African-American Republican to be elected to Congress from the South since Reconstruction.

"The value of endorsements today is not really so much about making or breaking people's opinions of the candidate," explained South Carolina GOP executive director Joel Sawyer. "The value of endorsements is the earned media it generates.

"The endorsement has a lot to do with who's receiving it as opposed to who’s giving it," he added. "If people are endorsing a candidate that everyone has heard of, it’s not that impactful. If it's somebody you may not have heard of [it becomes], congressman X is endorsing him, maybe I’ll check out his website."

Scott said he's been in touch with many of the leading presidential contenders, including Gingrich, Pawlenty and Romney.


"I've talked to them or emailed or letters or something — some type of correspondence," he said. "Haley [Barbour] I have not [been in contact with.] But I expect to talk to him."

He added, "I talked to [Mike] Huckabee a couple times as well."

"Everybody wants to know the lay of the land," said Scott. "Wisdom tells everyone to ask for advice and not ask for the vote at this point in the deal. Some have asked for the vote as well — vote of confidence. We'll see what happens."

Scott insisted he remains focused on his work in Congress, where a budget impasse demands his full attention.

"I tell everyone the same thing, which is later is better," he said. "So we can focus on what we're doing now. I'm not trying to get involved in the presidential election."

Meanwhile, Sawyer predicted many of the state's top Republicans will wait for fall or winter to back a contender. Campaign activity in South Carolina, he predicted, will ignite after the state hosts its first presidential primary debate May 5 in Greenville.