Mike Huckabee Endorses Rounds in GOP Primary #SDSEN

Huckabee endorsed Rounds. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds landed a national conservative endorsement Friday that could help him in a potentially competitive Republican Senate primary.

Mike Huckabee, a Fox News host and former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate, endorsed Rounds for the state's open-seat Senate race.

South Dakota conservatives are actively seeking an alternative candidate to Rounds in the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson. None has stepped forward so far, but Rep. Kristi Noem has not taken her name out of consideration yet.

"My long time friend, Mike Rounds, is exactly what we need in the United States Senate," Huckabee said in a statement. "His experience as governor of the great state of South Dakota, dedication to tackling the federal debt, strengthening and honoring our military, border security, as well as his strong support of faith, family, life and freedom — makes my endorsement a great pleasure."

Democrats are still awaiting a candidate in one of the party's most vulnerable seats. Former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, the senator's son, are both considering bids. (Read more about these candidates in Roll Call: Democrats Divided in South Dakota Senate Race)