Nikki Randhawa Haley was re-elected as the 116th Governor of South Carolina on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, by the largest margin of victory for a South Carolina gubernatorial candidate in 24 years.
During her first term, Governor Haley, the first female and the first minority governor in South Carolina history and currently the youngest governor in the country, delivered results to the people of every part of our state.
Under the governor’s leadership, South Carolina’s jobless rate hit record lows, the state announced more than 70,000 jobs in 45 of 46 counties, more than 25,000 South Carolinians moved from welfare to work, and the state made its largest infrastructure investment in a generation without raising taxes.
Governor Haley brought together leaders of both political parties, educators and the business community to pass landmark education reforms. These reforms focus attention where it’s most needed: on making education funding more equitable for schools in our poorest communities, on reading instruction in the early grades, and on improving technology in classrooms.
Transparency and accountability in state government were priorities for Governor Haley. In 2011, after a fight that began during her days as a legislator, Governor Haley ushered through the General Assembly and signed into law a bill that, for the first time, required legislators to start showing their votes on the record, allowing citizens to see how their legislators are spending their tax dollars. And in 2014, the governor signed a once-in-a-generation government restructuring bill that makes the executive branch truly accountable for its operations.
Governor Haley also delivered tax relief for small businesses, pension reform, Medicaid reform and illegal immigration reform.
One of the strongest fiscal conservatives in state government, Nikki Haley was first elected in 2004 to the state House to represent the 87th District (Lexington County), when, as a virtual unknown, she beat the longest serving state legislator in a Republican primary.
Born in Bamberg, the daughter of Indian immigrants, Governor Haley’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.
Governor Haley and her husband Michael, a Captain in the Army National Guard and combat veteran who was deployed to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, attend Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington. The Haleys have two children, Rena, 17, and Nalin, 14.
Watch the RGA’s American Comeback feature on Governor Haley: