Nikki Haley Wins GOP Gubernatorial Primary In South Carolina

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Jun 22, 2010 8:36 PM
She pulled off off a solid victory with 54 percent of the vote in 31 percent of the precincts reporting. Rep. Gresham Barrett's trailed at 45 percent. It went just as planned — with Haley's movie star looks and adoring family cheering her way to the finish line as one of the few nationally recognized Indian American Republican politicians. She was helped along the way by Sarah Palin and Jenny Sanford.

Haley had an uphill battle in a reserved state that's hard to play politically, and she persevered with a strong conservative message. That message should be communicated nationally, providing the GOP with momentum through November and providing Haley with a platform to move up fast within Party leadership.

Also in South Carolina, Tim Scott, a black lawmaker, won the GOP primary in the 1st Congressional District. If he wins the general, he'll be the first black Republican member of Congress since the retirement of Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.). Ironically, he beat out the son of onetime segregationist Strom Thurmond.

As expected, six-term Republican Rep. Bob Inglis was defeated by Trey Gowdy. Gowdy largely capitalized upon Inglis' support of federal bailouts, a move that South Carolina Republicans fiercely detest.