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Santorum picks up major Iowa endorsement

Rick Santorum today picks up the first -- and probably only -- endorsement from a statewide elected official in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa. Secretary of State Matt Schultz announced Friday that he will support the former Pennsylvania senator for president this cycle.

"Sen. Santorum is a strong advocate for faith, family, and freedom. He has a solid track record as a social and fiscal conservative from his time serving in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives,” Schultz said in a written statement. “As a Republican from a blue state, he has the experience to win in tough elections.” 

Schultz is of Mormon faith and endorsed Mitt Romney during the 2008 cycle. But for 2012, decided to back Santorum, a Catholic.
“Sen. Santorum shares my core conservative principles, and I believe he should be the Republican candidate to take on President Obama,” Schultz added. 

Santorum, who has visited all of Iowa’s 99 counties and frequents the state more than any other candidate, is polling at just 5% in Iowa according to the recent NBC News-Marist poll. Schultz also has visited all the counties in Iowa and beat a sitting Democratic incumbent himself back in 2010.

Schultz will join Santorum in Johnston, IA Friday evening during a campaign stop the campaign billed as a “major announcement.”