The "Mitt Mobile" was in Chapin, South Carolina on Labor Day.
CHAPIN, South Carolina (CNN) - Sam Brownback, the Republican senator from Kansas, was the only presidential candidate to show up at the annual Labor Day parade here on Monday, but the lack of national politicians didn't overshadow the fact that this political ritual is alive and well in South Carolina.
Along with Brownback, the presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani were out in full force distributing stickers and candy, mostly to children under the age of 10.
Romney's son Craig was here representing his father's campaign, walking down Columbia Avenue shaking hands as the "Mitt Mobile" lumbered along behind him. Giuliani supporters in the parade struck up a "Rudy! Rudy!" chant, taking a cue from the popular football movie. Ron Paul also had a small but very vocal group of supporters who told the crowd that Paul is the only presidential candidate who "understands the Constitution."
The Chapin Labor Day parade serves as a yearly hub for local and national politicians looking to shake hands and make their appearance in this state known. Notably, George W. Bush walked the parade here in 1999 on his way to the Republican nomination in 2000. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, facing re-election next year, was here. So was GOP Gov. Mark Sanford. There were also candidates for local offices such as Chapin Sheriff all sharing space with cheerleading squads, high school bands, and area beauty queens.
Brownback was sandwiched between the sizeable Giuliani and Romney contingents, keeping pace with the parade and shaking hands with the crowd lining the streets. At one point, Brownback approached a middle-aged woman on Clark Street wearing a "Rudy" sticker. Unaware of Brownback's self-described "bleeding heart conservative" record, the woman shook hands with the senator and learned that Brownback is pro-life, at which point she put on a Brownback sticker and quickly peeled off the Giuliani sticker saying, "He just got bumped."
An American Research Group poll released last week shows Brownback polling at just two percent in this state, while Giuliani leads all Republican candidates here, coming in at 26 percent.
But Brownback was on friendly turf. As several locals told CNN, "Lexington County is Republican country." The only Democratic campaign to make an appearance here was that of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, whose three supporters rode in a pickup truck blasting the John Mellencamp song "Our Country."
- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby