Nikki Randhawa Haley was elected the 116th Governor of South Carolina on Tuesday, November 2, 2010.
One of the strongest fiscal conservatives in state government, Nikki 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. She won the Republican Party nomination for governor on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.
Her time in Columbia has been marked by conservative leadership 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 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 lifetime “A” ratings from the South Carolina Club for Growth, the Palmetto Family Council, and the National Rifle Association. Nikki 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 provided 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.
Nikki and her husband Michael, a full time federal technician with the South Carolina National Guard and an officer in the Army National Guard, attend Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington.
Nikki and Michael have two children, Rena, 14, and Nalin, 11.