Education superintendent endorses Sheheen

South Carolina Superintendent of Education Jim Rex

COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- South Carolina's superintendent of education is endorsing the man who defeated him in the Democratic primary for governor.

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Jim Rex, who opposed state Sen. Vincent Sheheen in the three-way primary for the Democratic nomination in June, held a news conference in Columbia on Monday and announced his decision on Twitter.

"I think it's important, especially for our education community, our teachers, our principals, those who are really on the front lines of education, our parents, to understand there is a united front in support of public schools coming from my campaign," Sheheen said Monday.

State Sen. Robert Ford had also sought the Democratic nomination, and has said previously he backs Sheheen.

Rob Godfrey, a spokesman for the campaign of Republican Nikki Haley, said it's interesting it took Rex three months to come out in support of Sheheen.

Godfrey called the endorsement no surprise and that Sheheen supports what he called the failed education status quo in South Carolina.

Haley picked up endorsements earlier this year from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster.

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(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)