Nikki R. Haley
Governor of South Carolina
Nikki Randhawa Haley was elected the 116th Governor of South Carolina on Tuesday, November 2, 2010.
Since taking office, Governor Haley has focused on creating jobs and improving the business climate in South Carolina. Other states now look to South Carolina as an example for how to recruit new businesses while taking care of the businesses they already have.
From the start of her administration, Governor Haley has been proud to announce over 45,000 new jobs created and more than $12 billion invested in South Carolina. While job creation is her main focus, she has also fought for good government reforms. During her first year in office, and after a three year fight that began during her time in the Legislature, she was able to pass roll call voting reform which keeps legislators from voting anonymously and allows citizens to see the spending habits of their elected officials.
Governor Haley has also been able to pass tax relief for small businesses, pension reform, Medicaid reform, illegal immigration reform, Voter ID, and created an Inspector General to help remove waste and abuse in state government.
First elected to the General Assembly in 2004, her time in Columbia has been marked by conservative leadership and an unwavering commitment to protecting the taxpayer. 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, Governor Haley was named “Friend of the Taxpayer” by the S.C. Association of Taxpayers in 2011. She has lifetime “A” ratings from the South Carolina Club for Growth, the Palmetto Family Council, and the National Rifle Association. She received the 2011 State Leadership Award from the United States Chamber of Commerce.
One of the strongest fiscal conservatives in state government, Governor Haley was 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, then-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 went on to win the Republican Party nomination for governor on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.
Born in Bamberg, S.C., 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 graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor of science degree in accounting and, following her graduation, worked as Accounting Supervisor for a private company and five of its subsidiaries. She then returned to the family business and helped oversee its growth into a multi-million dollar operation.
Governor Haley 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.
They have two children, daughter Rena, 15, and son Nalin, 12.