I wish she hadn’t — she’s a good House member, but isn’t ready for this (and the last thing the campaign needs is someone dubbed the “Mark Sanford candidate,” since this election needs to be about moving beyond Mark Sanford) — but she did it:
Nikki Haley Announces Bid for Governor
May 14, 2009
LEXINGTON, SC – May 14, 2009 – Representative Nikki Haley (R-Lexington) today announced her intention to seek the Republican nomination for Governor of South Carolina.
“After months of encouragement from supporters all across the state and countless discussions with friends and family, I have decided to run for Governor of South Carolina,” Representative Haley said. “For more than five years I’ve sat in the statehouse and watched – sometimes in disbelief – as our state government has spent with abandon and in the process wasted taxpayer dollar after taxpayer dollar. I know what good government can look like. I’m running for Governor so the people of this state will know what it feels like.”
Haley, one of the strongest fiscal conservatives in state government, was first elected to represent the 87th District in Lexington County in 2004, when, as a virtual unknown she beat the longest serving state legislator in a Republican primary. In 2008 Representative Haley was sent back to the statehouse with 83 percent of the vote – the highest percentage earned by any lawmaker facing a contested South Carolina election that year.
Her time in Columbia has been marked by conservative leadership on behalf of her constituents and an unwavering commitment to the taxpayers’ bottom line. She has fought wasteful spending at every turn, pushed for smaller, more efficient government, and led the fight for the accountability and transparency that before her arrival was sorely lacking in the Legislature.
For her efforts to cut taxes and slow the growth of government spending, Nikki was named “Friend of the Taxpayer” (2009) by the S.C. Association of Taxpayers and a “Taxpayer Hero” (2005) by Gov. Mark Sanford. She has also received the Palmetto Leadership Award from the S.C. Policy Council for her expertise on policy matters and the Strom Thurmond Excellence in Public Service and Government Award from the S.C. Federation of Republican Women for the outstanding constituent service she provides to her district.
Born in Bamberg, S.C., the daughter of Indian immigrants, Nikki’s first job was keeping the books for her family’s clothing store – at the age of 13. She went on to graduate from Clemson University with a B.S. degree in accounting and following her graduation worked as Accounting Supervisor for the Charlotte, N.C. based corporation FCR, Inc. and five of its subsidiaries. Nikki then went back to the family business where she helped oversee its growth into a multi-million dollar operation. Since 2008 she has served as the Assistant Executive Director of the Lexington Medical Foundation.
“We’ve got great challenges facing us in South Carolina, but also a world of opportunity,” Haley said. “I have every confidence that with conservative leadership and a renewed commitment to the principles that have made America great – hard work, traditional values, promoting an atmosphere of opportunity over an environment of bailouts – South Carolina can be transformed into a state that’s not always at the bottom but sits proudly at the top.”
Nikki and her husband Michael, a full time federal technician with the South Carolina National Guard and an officer in the Army National Guard in Darlington, South Carolina, attend Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington. She was previously a board member of both the Orangeburg and Lexington County Chambers of Commerce and a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Currently, Nikki sits on the board for Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church, Medmission, and is a proud member of the West Metro Republican Women, Lexington County Republican Party and the NRA.