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Evangelical Leaders Throw Support Behind Santorum

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has received a powerful shot in the arm as top US evangelical leaders endorsed his White House bid ahead of a crucial South Carolina primary.

The endorsement came after about 150 influential Christian conservative leaders met at a ranch outside of Houston, Texas, in hopes of rallying their forces around one candidate before the January 21 vote in the state where evangelicals and social conservatives make up 60 percent of the Republican electorate.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and one of the organizers of the meeting, said Santorum, a former US senator from Pennsylvania, had received 85 out of 114 possible votes, thus securing the backing of the group.

The endorsement includes financial support from key religious conservative groups, Perkins explained Saturday without offering specifics.

Participants included James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the Liberty Institute; Don Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association; and Gary Bauer, president of American Values.

“You will see these organizations engaging openly on his behalf – especially in the state of South Carolina,” Perkins told reporters. “We believe that with strong consensus coming behind him that can aid in the fundraising that he will need to be successful in the primary.”

Read more at AFP.

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