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First-round boost for Indian-American

world Updated: Jun 10, 2010 02:41 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya

Despite being accused of having had extramarital affairs and being racially abused as a “raghead”, Indian-American Nikki Haley recorded the highest number of votes in the primary for the Republican Party’s nominee to contest the November 4 election for the post of Governor of South Carolina.

The 38-year-old Haley, born to immigrants from Amritsar, captured 49 per cent of the vote as against a measly 22 per cent for her closest opponent US Representative Gresham Barrett.

However, Haley required 50 per cent of the vote to avoid a runoff between the two highest vote-getters on June 22, a mark she barely missed.

While celebrating the result in Columbia, South Carolina, Haley told her supporters, “We said ‘no’ to spending. We said ‘no’ to bailout in Washington. And this last two or three weeks, we said ‘no’ to the dark side of politics.”

Dino Teppara, Chairman of the Indian American Conservative Council and an advisor and fund-raiser for Haley, said, “Nikki Haley is poised to become the next Governor of the great state of South Carolina, and we are going to be there every step of the way with her”.

But she may still clinch the nomination before June 22. There is already pressure on Barrett to concede.