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In US Republican Marco Rubio endorsed by South Carolina congressman Gowdy

"I’m going to vote for Marco Rubio, and I’ll tell you why. National security and public safety are the most important issues today, and there is nobody better on those two issues than Marco Rubio,” Gowdy said.

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Republican Marco Rubio endorsed by South Carolina congressman Gowdy play

Republican Marco Rubio endorsed by South Carolina congressman Gowdy

(Reuters)

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio won an endorsement on Tuesday from U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy, a rising Republican star in Congress.

Gowdy of South Carolina, who sits on the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, announced his support for the junior senator from Florida while on a two-day campaign swing with the candidate through Iowa.

"I’m going to vote for Marco Rubio, and I’ll tell you why. National security and public safety are the most important issues today, and there is nobody better on those two issues than Marco Rubio,” Gowdy said.

The endorsement follows Gowdy's participation this year in a highly publicized select committee inquiry into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and whether her use of a private email server compromised national security.

Gowdy chaired the panel investigating the 2012 attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya in which four were killed, and the focus on him peaked in October when Clinton testified in an 11-hour hearing.

Gowdy is a rising star among congressional Republicans, and his endorsement could carry some weight, especially in South Carolina, which is an important early voter state.

According to a Reuters/Ipsos survey ended on Dec. 29, Rubio stands in third place among candidates for the Republican nomination for the November 2016 presidential election with 12 percent.

Real-estate mogul Donald Trump tops the list with 39 percent support, and Ted Cruz placed second with just under 14 percent support. The five-day rolling survey includes responses from 686 respondents.

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