Indian-American South Carolina governor Nikki Haley has kicked off her re-election campaign, showcasing the work done by her during the first term and targetting President Barack Obama for his healthcare reform.
Currently the youngest governor in the US, the campaign of Haley, 41, born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa to Sikh immigrant parents from Amritsar, was kicked off yesterday in the presence of three Republican Governors, Indian-American Bobby Jindal from Louisiana; Rick Perry from Texas and Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
Jindal, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said that it sometimes "takes an outsider to come in and remind folks what a great job their governor is doing." Both Perry and Walker praised Haley's accomplishments in her first term urging the people of South Carolina to give her another term in the elections scheduled for November 2014.
"I want to continue representing you as Governor to help ensure that South Carolina remains the best place in America to live, raise a family, and do business. I would be honored to have you stand by my side," Haley said.
"While running for governor in 2009, I promised the people of South Carolina that I would work tirelessly to help promote new job creation and bring economic growth to every corner of the State," she said.
"While there's more work to be done, our jobless rate has dropped to a new 5-year low, we've announced 36,000 jobs in 45 of 46 counties, and South Carolina tops the list as one of the fastest growing economies in the nation. And we've moved 18,000 off of welfare and into jobs," Haley said.
"With the fastest growing economy on the east coast, more than 37,000 jobs announced in 45 of 46 counties, and the state unemployment rate hitting a five year low, South Carolina is moving fast in the right direction," said Haley for Governor spokesman Rob Godfrey.
She had termed President Obama's healthcare plan as ridiculous, saying "It is something that shows how far away we have gotten from the focus." However, opposition Democratic Party was quick to launch its anti-Haley campaign. Her main rival Senator Vincent Sheheen questioned the decision of Haley to bring in Governors Walker, Perry and Jindal to headline her campaign rally.
"I think it does speak volumes that when she announces her campaign she gets people from out of state to stand with her. Just last week, we announced the support of over 12 mayors across South Carolina, we did that because we have a great support spread across the state," he said.
Sheheen alleged that the jobs numbers in South Carolina show an unemployment rate that's much higher than the rest of the country.
"Haley has raised millions of dollars from out of state donors, but we're really proud that small donors and supporters around South Carolina have rallied behind our effort," he said.