Bamberg native wins Republican nomination

Bamberg native Nikki Haley gave her victory speech after winning statewide 65 percent -35 percent, defeating her runoff opponent, U.S. Congressman J. Gresham Barrett, to become the Republican nominee for Governor of South Carolina in the upcoming November election.

In Bamberg County Haley received 619 votes and her opponent Barrett received 137 votes.

Haley will be facing State Senator Vincent Sheheen, the Democratic nominee.

“This party understands what the people want. The entire country is watching us and saying, ‘That’s how you do it.’ We’re going to show the entire country what a good, conservative, pro-business state looks like,” said Haley.

Even though she was brought up in Bamberg, Haley had to overcome being a first-generation Indian-American candidate from a Sikh family. Her father was a biology professor at nearby Voorhees College and her mother owned a clothing and accessory company, Exotica International, where she started bookkeeping at age 13. She is now a Methodist and married to Michael Haley, whom she met at Clemson while obtaining her accounting degree.

“This is a story about determination,” Haley said. “This is a story about a movement, about government being open and accountable to the people.”