Sen. Thurmond Backs Graham as His Successor

From Times Wire Reports

Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) endorsed Republican Rep. Lindsey O. Graham as his successor in 2002.

The 98-year-old Thurmond, the nation’s oldest and longest-serving senator, plans to retire from the post he has held since 1954.

“Lindsey Graham is respected by his colleagues, Republicans and Democrats alike,” Thurmond said at a Graham fund-raiser in Washington. “Lindsey’s seven years’ service in the House will allow for a smooth transition to the Senate.”

Thurmond, a former Democrat who ran for president in 1948 as a Dixiecrat, usually doesn’t get involved in endorsing candidates--especially not before South Carolina Republicans have chosen their nominee.