Bamberg native wins historical election

Once again Bamberg County will go down in history because one of its own will be the first female governor of South Carolina.

Bamberg native and Republican gubernatorial candidate, Nikki Haley, won 51 percent of the vote against Democratic state Senator Vincent Sheheen, who received 47 percent in the November 2, 2010 election. She is the first Indian- American female governor in U.S. history and the nation’s youngest governor.

Haley was the Republican nominee in the South Carolina gubernatorial election, 2010 and was endorsed by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Haley beat Republican Representative Gresham Barrett, a four-term congressman, 65 percent to 35 percent in the June Primary.

Nimrata “Nikki” Randhawa Haley was born January 20, 1972 in Bamberg, South Carolina, to Sikh parents, Ajit and Raj Randhawa, who had immigrated to the United States from India in the early 1960s. Her parents started their own retail clothing store, Exotica International, and from there the business grew to a multi-million dollar business. Haley, then just a young girl still in school, kept the books for her parents.

“We made history today, but the real history is what we are going to do for South Carolina. We are going to change the way the government runs the state. Every government dollar is tax payer’s money and how we spend it matters,” said Governor-Elect Haley on election night.

Haley says that during her campaign she was overwhelmed by the spirit of everyone and because of all the support that she received she was able to fight a hard battle and win this election.

“We are ready to give a lot of pride to the people of South Carolina…You’ve taken a chance on me and I will never stop trying to make you proud…Thank you,” said Haley.

Below are some comments made by Bamberg County residents after hearing the news of Haley winning the election.

Sonny Beard, “Bamberg keeps putting out winners in high school sports and now Governor…Congrats Nikki Haley.”

Renee Dickson Jeffcoat, “GOD knew the right lady for the job! He has big plans for us, GOVERNOR Nikki Haley, and South Carolina!!!”

Harriet Coker, “It is an exciting day for South Carolina. Fun was had by all in Columbia at the Convention Center! I am so very proud of Nikki. She is the first female governor of South Carolina and the first governor born in big ol' Bamberg!”

This was one of the most exciting elections ever and once again Bamberg County has made another great entry into the history books. Nikki Haley, one of Bamberg’s very own will be the first female governor of the great State of South Carolina.