U.S. Sen. Tim Scott backed Mark Sanford in the 1st District special election today, saying he “merits support.”

In a statement from his Washington office, Scott, R-S.C., said Sanford is the “stark choice.” He did not mention Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch by name.

“On all the most important issues facing our state and country, from dealing with our dangerous levels of debt, to repealing or resisting the government health care takeover, to standing up for Charleston jobs against the NLRB, 1st District voters have a stark choice,” Scott said.

“Mark Sanford is hands down better on all of those issues, and that’s why I believe he merits support.”

The comment came after the state’s other senator, Lindsey Graham, issued his own endorsement for Sanford today.

“Mark has a proven track record cutting spending and fighting government expansion, something we sorely need more of in Washington,” Graham said of the 1st Congressional District race.

“The Obama Democrats already control the Senate, making the House of Representatives the last line of defense against the Democratic agenda,” he said.

Gov. Nikki Haley will be in Charleston tonight for a Sanford fund-raiser.

“The bottom line is that no Republican or conservative independent can afford to sit on the sidelines for this race,” Graham added. “In Congress, Mark will vote to cut wasteful spending, eliminate debt and make government work for the taxpayer. We need him in Washington.”