Washington (CNN) - South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley got two crucial endorsements in the final weeks of her Republican primary campaign from Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin – two potential presidential candidates with an interest in building support in the early primary state.
But according to new filings with the state ethics commission, another Republican heavyweight also swooped in at the last minute - apparently under the radar - to help Haley capture the GOP nomination: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Jindal's campaign committee directed $3,500 to Haley, a fellow Indian-American, on June 16 – one week before Haley dispatched Rep. Gresham Barrett in the Republican runoff election.
Haley told CNN that Jindal called her to offer congratulations after her June 22 victory, but neither Jindal nor Haley's campaign announced Jindal's support during the campaign.
Another prominent Republican who had remained publicly neutral in the race, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, gave Haley $3,500 on June 25 – three days after she captured the nomination.
But it appears DeMint gave the same amount to Barrett just before the election. His $3,500 donation to Barrett is recorded on June 22, according to the ethics filings, the day of the runoff election.
DeMint - who has close ties with Barrett and shares his team of political consultants - had been rumored to be planning a runoff endorsement of Barrett but ultimately decided against doing so as it became clear Haley would win the nomination.