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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Politics

Steve Brown

Chicago, IL

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Fox Exclusive: DeMint Backs Stutzman

April 20, 2010 - 8:02 AM | by: Steve Brown

Too late?

Just in the nick of time?

With the Republican primary in Indiana’s US Senate race just two weeks out, candidate Marlin Stutzman picked-up an endorsement from a potential future colleague. Senator Jim DeMint from South Carolina told Fox News exclusively that Stutzman was his choice in the Hoosier State’s five-candidate GOP primary.

DeMint disclosed to Fox News senior producer Trish Turner late Monday about his decision to back Stutzman.

“I like Dan (Coats). I like John (Hostettler), but we need new faces here,” said DeMint.

The Palmetto State Senator continued, “(Stutzman’s) not as well known as the other two, but what we’ve seen …(Stutzman’s) won just about all the straw polls. The activists are beginning to know who he is, and that’s the reason I decided to get in. I’m trying to give some spotlight to the underdogs.”

Stutzman has won a series of straw polls at Republican Senate candidate debates held by Indiana Tea Party groups. What Stutzman does not have is a lot of campaign cash. At a recent debate, Stutzman reportedly disclosed he had just $50,000 cash on hand as of March 31st.

Campaigns typically squirrel away money for last-stage expenses like TV ad buys. But that’s a luxury it does not appear Stutzman has. Meanwhile, Stutzman’s primary rival, Dan Coats is up with TV and radio ads and has announced the campaign with remain on the air through the May 4th primary. But DeMint’s political backers might provide a last-minute financial boost.

“We can raise some money, ” says DeMint, “and we’re going to do that with a money bomb over the next week, try to draw some attention.”

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