South Carolina State Rep. Nikki Haley, a favorite of tea party activists, survived a turbulent primary campaign Tuesday to advance in her bid to become her state’s first woman governor, on a night that results nationally reaffirmed this year’s anti-establishment tide.
In early returns, Ms. Haley held a double-digit lead in a four-person race for the GOP nomination. She will head into a runoff with the second-place finisher, Rep. Gresham Barrett, the Associated Press reported.
Ms. Haley had trailed badly early in the campaign, but won support from the tea party movement and an endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Her competitors included top officials in the GOP establishment, including the state’s attorney general and lieutenant governor.
[...]In South Carolina, Ms. Haley surged in recent weeks from long-shot to leader. After that, the race became rocky, as two GOP political operatives said they’d had affairs with Ms. Haley.
The attacks only seemed to strengthen the prospects of Ms. Haley, 38, who was born a Sikh but converted to Christianity. If she wins the governorship, she could quickly become a star in a Republican Party eager to reach out to minorities, women and young people.
Nikki is the daughter of first-generation Sikh immigrants from the Punjab, in India. She’s only 38! The only other Indian-American governor is Bobby Jindal, who I really like! Now I might have TWO Indian-Americans to blog about! If she wins! By the way, she is a Protestant, which is really rarity for India. Most Christians in India are Roman Catholic. Jindal is a Roman Catholic, and a solid one.
Oh, and a couple of businesswomen won the Republican nominations for governor (Meg Whitman) and senator (Carly Fiorina) in California. Ho hum. That’s commonplace in the world of conservatism. The Republican party is the party of conservative women who succeed on their own steam, without needing the government’s help. After all, we’re the party of Michele Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn and Sarah Palin. We like SMALL government, because we like STRONG families, and fathers who bring home the bacon.