Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) – Rick Perry received his most significant endorsements Saturday in South Carolina since jumping into the race for the White House one week ago.
Former U.S Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins will join the Texas governor at a campaign stop at Tommy's Country Ham House in Wilkins' hometown of Greenville, said Katon Dawson, former South Carolina GOP chairman who is leading Perry's campaign efforts in the state.
Wilkins was a top fundraiser for George W. Bush in his critical 2000 presidential primary win over John McCain. He served as Bush's state campaign chairman in 2004.
Longtime South Carolina Republican campaign consultant Chip Felkel said this endorsement is a sign that Perry is on a roll in the state that has a reputation for choosing the eventual Republican presidential nominee.
"[Wilkins is] the former speaker of the House, respected Republican in the state. It's a very significant pick-up for Perry," said Felkel, who is not affiliated with any candidates this cycle but previously worked on Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush's campaigns.
Felkel said President Bush visited the Ham House during the 2000 primary.
Wilkins served 25 years in the South Carolina General Assembly and was House speaker for 11 years. In 2005, Wilkins was appointed ambassador by President Bush.
Perry picked up another endorsement in the Palmetto State later Saturday from Harvey Peeler, the majority leader in the state Senate.
The presidential candidate and Senate majority leader met on Perry's campaign bus in transit from the morning event in Greenville to his afternoon event in Rock Hill. Peeler will not join Perry in Rock Hill.
"He's excited about it and he will be a tremendous asset to our team in South Carolina," Dawson said.