[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/19/art.getty.demint.jpg caption="Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, has made a series of endorsements in 2010."]Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) - There has been speculation among South Carolina politicos in recent days that Republican Sen. Jim DeMint would endorse Gresham Barrett in a gubernatorial runoff against Nikki Haley.
That might seem counterintuitive, considering that DeMint generally supports reform-minded, Tea Party-backed candidates like Haley. That, and Barrett voted for the Wall Street bailout in 2008, legislation DeMint fervently opposed.
But DeMint and Barrett have a long history in the clubby and interconnected world of South Carolina politics. Besides sharing the same political consultants, who made sure to plaster DeMint's image all over Barrett's campaign literature, Barrett gave DeMint a key endorsement in his 2004 Senate race.
So will DeMint return the favor for Barrett in his race against Haley?
Despite the chatter, multiple GOP sources told CNN Wednesday that DeMint will not endorse either candidate in the primary.
That might frustrate some of his fans who consider Haley a prototypical small government reformer, but DeMint's focus in this election cycle has been on Senate races, not gubernatorial ones.