Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has endorsed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for the U.S. Senate.
The Fox News commentator and Southern Baptist preacher is influential among Christian conservatives and operates a political action committee called Huck PAC.
Dewhurst is the front-runner to replace U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is retiring next year. Dewhurst is competing against nine other candidates for the Republican nomination.
Huckabee ran for president in 2008 and has a national following. On Monday he called Dewhurst a strong fiscal conservative who shares Huckabee's traditional values.
The endorsement will help Dewhurst fight off criticism that he's been too moderate while serving as lieutenant governor. Most of his opponents have been painting themselves as more conservative.