Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haley (born January 20, 1972) is the 116th Governor of South Carolina. A member of the Republican Party, Haley represented Lexington County in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2005 to 2010.In the 2010 South Carolina gubernatorial election, Haley was endorsed for the Republican nomination by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. On June 8, 2010, she finished first in the four-way Republican primary election with 49% of the vote, but fell short of the 50% required to avoid a runoff election. Haley won the runoff on June 22 with 65%, and proceeded to win the general election by a 51%-47% margin. Haley is the first non-white and the first woman to serve as Governor of South Carolina, and the second Indian-American governor in the country, after Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. At the age of 39, she also displaced Jindal as the youngest current governor in the U.S.
Haley was born Nimrata Nikki Randhawain Bamberg, South Carolina on January 20, 1972. Chamber of Commerce in 2003. Haley became treasurer of the National Association of Women Business Owners in 2003 and president in 2004. She chaired the Lexington Gala to raise funds for the local hospital. She also serves on the Lexington Medical Foundation, Lexington County Sheriff’s Foundation, West Metro Republican Women, President of the South Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Chairman for 2006 Friends of Scouting Leadership Division campaign and is a member of the Rotary Club in Lexington.
Her parents, Dr. Ajit and Raj Randhawa, are Sikh immigrants from Amritsar, India. She has two brothers, Mitti and Charan, and a sister, Simran. Haley is a graduate of Orangeburg Preparatory Schools, and later graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in accounting and joined the FCR Corporation (a waste management and recycling company),before joining her mother's business, Exotica International, an upscale clothing firm, in 1994.The family business grew to a multi-million dollar company. She was named to the Board of Directors of the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce in 1998.She was named to the Board of Directors of the Lexington
House of Representatives
In 2004, she ran for the South Carolina House of Representatives in the Republican primary against incumbent representative Larry Koon. Koon, who had served since 1975, was the longest-serving member of the House.
In the primary election, Haley won 40% of the vote (2,247 votes) to Koon's 42% (2,354 votes), thus forcing a runoff.Her platform was anti-tax and fiscally conservative with an emphasis on education.In the runoff, Haley won with 54.7% (2,928 votes) of the total. She then ran unopposed for the House seat as there was no Democratic opponent. She became the first Indian-American to hold office in South Carolina.She was reelected in 2006 and 2008. Nikki Haley served as secretary of the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs committees. She also was elected chairman of the freshman caucus in 2005 and elected as majority whip in the South Carolina General Assembly.She was the only freshman legislator named to a whip spot.
Governor of South Carolina
On May 14, 2009, Haley announced that she would be running for the Republican nomination for Governor of South Carolina in 2010.On November 11, 2009, she was endorsed by Jenny Sanford, the incumbent first lady of South Carolina, as well as former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.However, she remained in last place among primary candidates in the polls and also in fundraising until former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin endorsed her.(citation needed) The Republican gubernatorial primary took place on June 8, 2010, and Haley captured 49% of the vote, necessitating a runoff election on June 22.Haley won handily in the runoff vote.In October 2010 South Carolina pollster Crantford & Associates reported Haley barely edging Democratic challenger Vincent Sheheen in general election polling 45% to 41%.Haley is also part of the Tea Party movement.Haley was elected governor on November 2, 2010 over the Democratic candidate, Vincent Sheheen 51% to 47%.
Nikki Haley was born and raised as a Sikh. On September 6, 1996 she married Michael Haley in both a Methodist church ceremony and a Sikh gurdwara.Haley identifies herself today as a Christian,but also attends both Sikh and Methodist services out of respect for her parents' culture.She sits on the board for Mt.
Horeb United Methodist Church.Michael is a federal employee with the United States Department of the Army and an officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard.Nikki and Michael have two children, Rena (12 yrs old) and Nalin (9 yrs old).Haley's brother Mitti is an active duty officer who has served in the U.S. Army for the past 20 years.
May 19th, 2011