Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign was all the rage … until it wasn’t.

After opening up a 20-point lead on the GOP field in the fall of 2011, Perry stumbled badly in a series of early debates – and by the time the Iowa Caucuses rolled around in January he had become a second tier candidate.

Perry¬†dropped out of the race¬†just two days before the pivotal (or formerly pivotal) “First in the South” presidential primary – endorsing the failed bid of former U.S. Speaker (and socialized medicine supporter) Newt Gingrich.

Anyway, Perry is headed back to South Carolina this month … and local Republicans are greeting him like a conquering hero.

“Governor Perry’s strong record on jobs and economic growth is one that Washington D.C. should strive to emulate. His conservative leadership in a large, diverse state is impressive,” SCGOP chairman Matt Moore said in announcing Perry’s December 3 visit to Spartanburg, S.C. for a party fundraiser.

Perry is helping raise money for the 2014 Republican “victory” effort – which is the party’s general election voter registration, identification and motivation campaign.

And based on the SCGOP’s cash crunch, every penny is critical.