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{November 15, 2010}   Indian-American Nikki Haley Becomes First Woman Governor of South Carolina

Indian-American Nikki Haley has created the history on Wednesday (November 3), by becoming first woman to won the South Carolina Governor seat in United States midterm polls.

Born to Sikh parents who migrated from Punjab, Ms. Haley defeated Democrat Vincent Sheheen, with a surprisingly close vote in the most expensive election in state history. US media reported that early results showed that Haley got 51 percent of the votes to Sheheens 47 percent. In the general election, she faces the Democratic nominee, Vincent Sheheen, who won his primary on June 8.

Haley will be the first woman chief executive of the State and America’s second Indian-American governor after Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. In 2007, Bobby Jindal became the Governor of Louisiana and the first Indian-American governor in the United State.

While delivering a victory speech to supporters in Columbia in South Carolina, Haley said, “This is a really great night because South Carolina just showed the rest of the country what we’re made of.”

On the occasion, Nick Ayers, executive director of the Republican Governors Association said, “Nikki Haley’s historic victory in South Carolina is a testament to her hard work, perseverance and determination. Her success ushers in a new era of South Carolina politics and represents a growing new generation of Republican leaders from across the country.”

Haley was born in Bamberg, South Carolina. She was first elected to represent the 87th District in Lexington County in 2004. In 2008, Haley was sent back to the state house with 83 percent of the vote.

Nikki’s husband Michael is a full time federal technician with the South Carolina National Guard and an officer in the Army National Guard. They live in Lexington with their two children, Rena, 12, and Nalin, 8.

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