(CNN) - Rep. James Clyburn announced his endorsement of Elizabeth Colbert Busch, a Democrat vying for her party's nomination in the South Carolina special election to fill a U.S. House seat.
Clyburn, an assistant minority leader in the House, said in his endorsement at a Charleston restaurant that Colbert Busch – who has worked in the fields of higher education and business - has "life experiences to take us to success in the general election."
Colbert Busch is the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, who plays a conservative talk show host on his Comedy Central television program but will make campaign and fundraising appearances for her.
The Republican-leaning district could be challenging for a Democrat to win but Colbert Busch leans conservative, as is evidenced by the fact that she is a Democrat who has voted in prior Republican primaries.
The seat was left empty when Gov. Nikki Haley appointed Rep. Tim Scott, a Republican, to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint, also a Republican.
More than a dozen Republicans are running for the seat, including the state's former Gov. Mark Sanford.
"This primary is about getting a nominee that can carry a Democratic message in the general election," Clyburn said. "I am convinced that whoever comes out on the other side will not have the sensitivity, will not have the background and experiences that Elizabeth has. Therefore we have got to do what is necessary to make sure that she wins this race."
Primaries to select a Republican and Democratic candidate will be held in March ahead of the May special election.
– CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.