Scottsdale, Arizona (CNN) - One day after Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina declined to endorse his Republican colleague Lindsey Graham's Senate re-election bid, Gov. Nikki Haley took a different track - weighing in with some with hearty praise for Graham, who is facing a primary challenge on the right next year from four different candidates.
While Haley stopped short of formally backing Graham, she made clear that she considers Graham a conservative ally.
"I have made it very clear I am not going to be involved in any South Carolina races," Haley told CNN on Thursday at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Arizona.
"But I want to say this: on any issue that I have had to deal with Lindsey on, whether it was the NLRB issue, whether it was voter ID, whether it's been on the fight that we've had with Obamacare, or whether it's been fighting for our businesses in South Carolina, Lindsey has dropped everything to help with those fights," she said. "And so for that I'm very grateful for him."
Asked if her comments qualified as an endorsement of Graham, Haley declined to say.
"It's my answer," she said.
Scott, another influential conservative voice in the Palmetto State, appeared on CNN's "Crossfire" on Wednesday. Pressed twice on whether he would support Graham, Scott hesitated.
"I'm going to allow for all the other folks on the ballot to represent themselves very well," Scott said. "I'm going to continue to work hard for my election."
Haley appointed Scott to the Senate late last year to fill the seat left vacant after GOP Sen. Jim DeMint stepped down to take over the Heritage Foundation, one of the nation's oldest and most influential conservative think tanks. Scott is running next November to fill out the final two years of DeMint's second term in the Senate.
Haley, along with Graham, is also running for re-election next year.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser and CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.