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south carolina

Ron Paul Returns From Four-Day Absence Touting Endorsement From State Senator

AMES, IA - AUGUST 13:  Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) addresses his supporters outside the Hilton Coliseum, where Iowans will vote in the Iowa Straw Poll at Iowa State University August 13, 2011 in Ames, Iowa. Nine GOP presidential candidates are competing for votes in the straw poll, an important step for gaining momentum in a crowded field of hopefuls.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Back in the saddle.

After four days off the campaign trail, Ron Paul returned to Myrtle Beach with what his team called a game-changing endorsement: the backing of South Carolina state senator Tom Davis.

CNN describes Davis as "a rising star in Republican circles and a highly regarded fiscal conservative who holds sway over many tea party activists," adding that the nod from Davis is "one the most sought-after political blessings in the state." Politico calls him "a well-known fiscal conservative who served as chief of staff under Governor Mark Sanford before being elected to the legislature."

“He has a lot of influence,” Paul said. “So I do think it’s going to be a very significant event, because he’s been identified with the type of ideas I’ve talked about. He talked about Austrian economics, he was recently elected as a tea party person, and I think that’s exactly the kind of person that will get the attention. I think he’s going to be a big help to us.”

The latest South Carolina polls have Romney ahead of the pack with almost 30 percent, Gingrich right behind with 22 percent, and Paul in third with 15 percent.

Proud as Paul's campaign is to have Davis aboard, the senator will have to take his place on the podium alongside Paul's Chief Executive Giant, Chris Lawless.

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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/2011 Getty Images