“We’ve got some thank you’s that I need to say tonight. First of all, I’d like to thank Governor Mitt Romney who was the first National figure to come in to this state when I was 4th in a very heavy race.” ~ Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley (center) reacts to learning she has won South Carolina's Republican nomination for governor.
Her convincing runoff victory over Rep. Gresham Barrett—she had 65 percent to his 35 percent with virtually all the votes counted — makes her the first woman to win either party’s nomination for the state’s top job. South Carolina’s conservative heritage and the mood of voters this year means she is the frontrunner in November’s general election against Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen – and a win would make her South Carolina’s first woman governor.
UPDATE by Jayde: Governor Romney congratulated Nikki Haley for her victory last night by phone and issued this statement today:
“Against the longest of odds, Nikki Haley took on the political establishment and won. Nikki’s conservative reform message resonated throughout the state of South Carolina because she is committed to fiscal discipline and is not tied to the old way of doing things. Putting her in the governor’s office will represent real progress in the effort to control government spending and restore the free market principles that have built and guided our nation.”
Update #2 by Jayde: To listen to a 5 minute podcast of Romney speaking with Forum reporter Kristen Daum, click here. (Scroll down to ‘Audio’ in middle column.)
South Carolina gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley called upon two of her big-name endorsers, Mitt Romney and Jenny Sanford, for extra help on the campaign trail this Friday. South Carolina’s run-off election takes place next Tuesday, June 22, 2010. Haley is running against Rep Gresham Barrett (R-SC).
CNN – Former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford will join gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on the campaign trail Friday for a headline-grabbing final push ahead of next Tuesday’s Republican runoff election, a Haley source tells CNN. Sanford won’t have to go far to join the front-running gubernatorial candidate – Haley is scheduled to appear with Mitt and Ann Romney in Charleston and Beaufort, both a short drive from Sanford’s home on Sullivan’s Island.
Yesterday we received some incredibly exciting news – former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has endorsed our campaign for Governor.
“Ann and I got to know Nikki Haley during my campaign for president and came away enormously impressed with her as a person of character and as the spokesperson for a new generation of leadership for South Carolina,” Governor Romney said. “She has a proven conservative record of fighting wasteful spending and advocating for smaller, more efficient government. I’m honored to call her my friend and prouder still to endorse her campaign for governor.”
Governor Romney is a national leader and one of the most successful businessmen of his generation, and I’m honored to receive his support. He knows how to create jobs and turn the economy, and his support and advice will be invaluable over the months and years ahead as we do everything we can to put South Carolinians back to work.
The momentum for our campaign is continuing to grow and yesterday is yet another example of the exciting news we are getting day in-and-day out. I am so proud of the campaign we have run, how far we have come in the relatively short time we have been at this, and the prospects for all of us as we approach the primary on June 8th.
And we need your continued support to get our message of pro-business, good government reform to as many voters as possible. Would you donate, put a bumper sticker on your car, and put a yard sign in your yard?
Thank you again for all you have done for this campaign. Together, we can and will change South Carolina forever.
South Carolina’s Nikki Haley is hoping to lock up the Republican nomination for governor this Friday with a series of high-profile campaign stops featuring Mitt and Ann Romney as well as Jenny Sanford.
The two stops will be among the few political appearances Ann Romney has made since the end of the 2008 presidential campaign.
Sanford may continue to campaign through the weekend as Haley works up to Tuesday’s runoff, a campaign source told POLITICO, although the schedule is not yet set.
Both Sanford and Romney came out early for Haley and have appeared on the stump with the GOP state representative.
Asked about the campaign stops, Haley spokesman Tim Pearson told POLITICO: “Gov. Romney came out for Nikki when she was in fourth place, and in a state like South Carolina that has national implications, that’s not an easy thing to do.”
“He gave us some real credibility in the state and country,” Pearson added of Romney. “He’s very popular and we’re excited for him to come out for us.”
State legislator Nikki Haley seizes the lead in the four-way GOP primary for governor of South Carolina. An automated Rasmussen poll of 912 Republicans has Haley surging from 12 to 30 percent support in a month, leapfrogging the state’s attorney general, lieutenant governor and a congressman, all with more money and institutional support. One reason, as I posted last week — Gov. Mark Sanford’s (R-S.C.) political PAC reactivated recently and spent $400,000 on sunny Haley TV ads.
This is only one Rasmussen poll, and unless a candidate scores 50 percent of the vote he or she goes to a run-off, but what would a Haley win mean? It would be a massive victory for the conservative grass roots, especially RedState, which have promoted her endlessly. And it would be a boon for Mitt Romney, who won Haley’s endorsement in 2008, endorsed her this year, and would obviously be expected to win it in 2012.
Just yesterday, Romney’s PAC sent out this reminder to all Facebook Fans and Twitter followers:
With the South Carolina gubernatorial primary election less than three weeks away, a new Rasmussen poll now shows Nikki Haley leading her closest opponent by 11 points. Nikki Haley represents a new generation of conservative leadership for South Carolina. Please consider supporting her campaign.”