COLUMBIA, S.C., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley plans to endorse Sen. Marco Rubio for the 2016 Republican nomination -- just days ahead of the party's key primary in her state, media reports said Wednesday.
Haley would join two other major elected officials in the Palmetto State to rally behind the Florida senator, following South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy's hitting the campaign trail for Rubio this week and an endorsement from Sen. Tim Scott.
"Needless to say, her decision is making big waves," Rubio's campaign added. "Haley has been a solid voice in favor of lower taxes, fewer job-killing regulations, and protecting the sanctity of life.
"Governor Haley, welcome to Team Marco!"
Haley is viewed by many in the party as a rising star in the GOP ranks. In September, she indicated that she would be interested in filling out the Republican ticket as the 2016 vice presidential candidate -- a prospect that now carries a distinct possibility if Rubio secures his party's nomination.
The governor's endorsement comes in the home stretch before the key Republican primary in South Carolina on Saturday. Polling data in the state has shown that Rubio is running neck-and-neck with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for second place, behind GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.