(CNN) – Influential Christian conservative James Dobson individually endorsed presidential hopeful Rick Santorum in a statement on Monday, praising the candidate for his concern for marriage and international affairs.
"While there are other GOP candidates who are worthy of our support, Sen. Santorum is the man of the hour," he said in a statement released by the Santorum campaign. "His knowledge of international politics, especially Israel and the turmoil in the Middle East, is highly relevant to the dangerous world in which we live."
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Dobson was among a group of over 100 conservative leaders who voted to collectively endorse Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, at a meeting in Texas last weekend.
Some who had endorsed or considering other candidates, such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, distanced themselves from the group consensus and maintained their individual backing.
Santorum said in the statement that he is "honored" by the endorsement.
Dobson stepped down as president of the Focus on the Family, a non-profit Christian ministry organization, in 2003 but remained connected to the group, according to his online biography. In the 2008 presidential contest, he supported former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.