COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Former presidential candidate and U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich has endorsed Sally Atwater for South Carolina Superintendent of Education.

Gingrich said Tuesday that Atwater has a decade of experience as a special education teacher and is a true conservative who opposes the national teaching standards of Common Core.

Atwater is the widow of the late political strategist Lee Atwater. She is among eight Republican candidates vying in the June 10th primary for the education superintendent nomination.