Haley to become the 2nd Indian American Governor

Nikki Randhawa Haley is all set to create history by becoming the first women Governor of South Carolina.

Last Updated: Nov 01, 2010, 23:31 PM IST

Washington: Nikki Randhawa Haley is all set to create history by becoming the first women Governor of South Carolina, thus becoming only the second Indian-American
to occupy the prestigious post in America after her fellow Republican Bobby Piyush Jindal of Lousiana.

Haley, 38, daughter of Sikh immigrants is leading her Democratic Rival Vincent Sheheen by more than 10 points for the South Carolina governorship on the eve of November 2 mid-term elections, according to opinion polls.

RealClearPolitics.Com, which keeps a tab on all the election campaigns and opinion polls, said her race may go down as one of the tawdriest races in history.

As she emerged as the Republican frontrunner in the primary, she was hit by allegations by a blogger that she had had an affair with him.

A second South Carolina Republican later claimed to have had a one-night stand with Haley at a Republican convention. The allegations, however, didn`t seem particularly
credible, and didn`t stick as she won by a landslide in the runoff election.

"It would still take something significant to derail Haley`s ascent in this heavily Republican state," the site said. Haley got a big boost to her electoral campaign when
The Post and Courier the major South Carolina newspaper praised her on the eve of the November 2 elections.

"Republic Haley has been overcoming odds all her life, as the daughter of Indian immigrants in small-town South Carolina, and as a virtually unknown challenger for the House seat held by the then-longest-serving member of the Legislature," the newspaper said in an editorial.

She grew up working in her family`s business, where she learned an enduring lesson: "How hard it was to make a dollar, and how easy it was for the government to take it.
Despite the ugly realities of campaigning, she remains optimistic about serving as South Carolina’s chief executive," the editorial said.

"Now she`s the hottest thing in South Carolina politics. And if she wins in November, becoming the state`s first female and first nonwhite governor, she`ll likely rocket
to national prominence and secure a spot in the GOP firmament," The News Week wrote in its cover story a few months ago.

Another popular newspaper The State came out with 10 good reasons for its readers in South Carolina to vote for Nikki Haley.

"New blood. In a change election Nikki Haley fits the bill, she says. Haley has been in office for six years.

She has said on the campaign trail she is not like Democrat Vincent Sheheen, who was born into a political family, "groomed" for public office and elected to the State
House in his 20s.

Sheheen, though, points to Haley`s thin legislative record as reason to elect him. Haley has gotten one bill through the General Assembly during her time in office, and it
lifted regulations on who can shampoo customers in beauty shops.

Sheheen, who has been in the General Assembly 10 years to Haley`s six, argues he has accomplished much more during his time in the House and Senate, from spearheading
restructuring to immigration reform.

Haley, though, considers herself the leader of a new conservative movement," the daily said.

PTI