The Latest: Cruz next to join DeMint in backing Norman

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The Latest on the South Carolina special election (all times local):

8 p.m.

Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz has joined the list of notables backing a candidate in the race to fill Mick Mulvaney’s congressional seat.

Cruz on Thursday issued a statement from his own campaign announcing support for Republican Ralph Norman in the upcoming special election.

Cruz ran an unsuccessful campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. In his statement supporting Norman, the senator said electing Noman in the 5th District special election would ensure there would be “reinforcements” to repeal the Affordable Care Act, enact major regulatory reform and pass tax reform.

Earlier in the day, Norman told The Associated Press his bid had received the backing of Jim DeMint, who resigned his U.S. Senate seat in 2013 to lead the Heritage Foundation. The conservative think tank ousted him last week, citing “significant and worsening management issues.”

3:30 p.m.

Republican Ralph Norman has netted another notable endorsement in his quest to win the GOP nod to fill Mick Mulvaney’s former congressional seat.

The Rock Hill developer’s campaign confirmed to The Associated Press Thursday it had received backing from Jim DeMint.

DeMint resigned his U.S. Senate seat in 2013 to lead the Heritage Foundation. The conservative think tank ousted him last week, citing “significant and worsening management issues.”

DeMint’s nod follows a move earlier this week by former Gov. Nikki Haley, who made a nominal financial contribution to Norman’s campaign. As U.S. ambassador, she won’t make an overt endorsement.

Norman and House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope compete in a GOP primary runoff election on Tuesday. They were the top two vote getters in last week’s seven-way Republican primary.

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