Around the South for Jan. 12: SC, FL & GA

South Carolina: Haley getting major GOP exposure. Tonight Gov. Nikki Haley (R), a veep prospect, will deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address. Tomorrow, she will speak to Republican National Committee members at their winter meeting in Charleston, SC. Haley, says Politico, has been staying in touch with Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie. Stay tuned! ……. Florida: Scott praises Trump. In an op-ed last week in USA Today, Gov. Rick Scott (R) said he did not plan to endorse a presidential candidate before his state’s primary. However, he added, “I know Donald Trump personally … Donald is a man who speaks and tweets his mind freely.” He added, “[H]e is capturing the frustration of many Americans.” No mention of home-boys Bush or Rubio ……. Georgia: Westmoreland vacancy expected to draw a crowd. Although no one has thrown his or her hat in the ring, reports the Newnan Times Herald, there are six state senators and 10 state representatives in retiring US Rep. Lynn Westmoreland’s (R) 6th District (Atlanta suburbs, etc.), anyone of whom could be tempted by a vacant congressional seat. At least two potential contenders have expressed some interest, state Sen. Marty Harbin and Westmoreland’s chief of staff, Matt Brass. Mitt Romney carried the district with 66% of the vote …….