Nikki Haley may not be a name a lot of people recognize. She is Governor of the great state of South Carolina, and she delivered the Republican response to Obama’s State of the Union address. Here are some facts to give you a little perspective on and understanding of Governor Haley.
- Her parents, Ajit and Raj Randhawa, are immigrants from Punjab, India.
- She was born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, in 1972.
- She is the second Indian-American governor in our country’s history.
- Her first job was keeping the books for her family’s clothing store. She was 13 when she started.
- She definitely doesn’t see eye to eye with Obama – “My parents started a business out of the living room of our home and, 30-plus years later, it was a multimillion dollar company. So, President Obama, with all due respect, don’t tell me that my parents didn’t build their business.”
- Haley converted to Christianity from the Sikh religion.
- Apparently having quite an affinity for numbers, she went on to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Clemson in 1994.
- Her husband Michael, who she met at Clemson, is an Army National Guard captain, and an Afghanistan combat veteran.
- She is part of the conservative Tea Party movement.
- In 2004 Haley became President of the National Association of Women Business Owners.
- She opposed opening South Carolina to Syrian refugees.
- She supported removal of the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina statehouse.
- At 43 years old, she is the youngest governor in the nation.
- She was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2004, beating out the longest-serving House member, Larry Koon.
- She ran unopposed when she ran for the legislature again in 2006.
- Also in 2006, the South Carolina Federation of Republican Women gave Haley the Strom Thurmond Excellence in Public Service and Government Award. (This is one busy woman.)
- She defeated a Democrat when she ran again in 2008.
- In 2010 she took 49% of the vote in the gubernatorial primary in South Carolina.
- You can learn a lot more about her in her memoir, “Can’t Is Not An Option: My American Story”.
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