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Nikki Haley ends campaign on a high note

Last updated on: November 2, 2010 13:37 IST

Nikki Haley ends campaign on a high note

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"Words are truly inadequate to describe how happy I am for Mrs Haley on the eve of her election night. I get a little emotional and overcome with joy when I see someone from my hometown of Bamberg, South Carolina doing such great things for our state! We're all very proud of her," Trey Dickson, who was Represenative Nikki Haley's neighbour during her younger days, commented.

"However, the reason I'm voting for Mrs. Haley tomorrow is because of her relentless courage, vision, ability, and a profound faith in humanity. I really like her down-to-earth approach to problem solving. She's a leader, the very leader our state needs for the next four years," Dickson noted.

Image: Nikki Haley speaks at her final campaign meeting in Lexington County, South Carolina
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com
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Haley is expected to win the gubernatorial race

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Winding up the gruelling campaign season, the final event was held on her home turf in Gilbert, Lexington County, where the Haley family lives. A few hundred people turned up to hear the republican aspirants for the state government, including Haley, candidate for lieutenant governor, Ken Ard,  candidate for attorney general, Alan Wilson, Congressman Joe Wilson and others.

If there are no major undercurrents working against them, all are expected to win on Tuesday night, when votes are polled.

Two African Americans and a few Indians including Haley's father Dr Ajit Randhawa, mother Raj, her brothers and their families along with Republican leader Dino Teppara turned up with the mostly white crowd to cheer for Haley.

Image: Nikki Haley greets Republicans at her final campaign event
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com
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All eyes focussed on Haley

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Starting with current Attorney General Henry McMaster, everyone focused on one person, Nikki Haley, as the hope for the state and termed her as a tough fighter against 'big government' which intruded in people's lives.

In her speech, Haley reiterated the familiar theme of change she wanted to bring about in the government's functioning. The promises to fight President Obama's health care program and the Federal stimulus program, attracted loud cheers.

She acknowledged the support and inspiration she received from her husband Michael Haley, and her children Rena and Nalin. She said Michael would be the "coolest first man you've ever seen." She also introduced her parents and siblings to the crowd.


Image: Nikki Haley with her husband Michael Haley and children Rena and Nalin
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com
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This was not a Tea Party event

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Reverend Dr Leslie Lovett, an African American, who said the starting prayer, told rediff.com that he came to the event as a life-long Republican. He said there was nothing wrong if the African American community kept away from such events and rallied behind President Obama.

According to Lovett, racism was a thing of the past in most parts of South Carolina, which had once seceded from the Union when Abraham Lincoln had abolished slavery.

Haley's Indian origin too was not a problem for the mainstream to accept her as a candidate for governor, he noted. The event was not part of the Tea Party movement but only a program of the Republican party.


Image: Nikki Haley's parents Dr Ajit and Raj Randhawa at the event
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com
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As the campiagn ended, Haley's team looked relaxed

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At the end of the program everyone, right from campaign manager Tim Pearson, who spearheaded the campaign for a virtually unknown woman legislator, 18 months ago, looked relaxed. The last day before election was hectic as the team campaigned in five places in South Carolina.

The election is a few hours away starting at the early hour of 0800 hrs and closing at 2000 hrs. The result is expected by midnight.

Haley faces Democratic candidate and state Senator Vincent Sheheen, who was endorsed by influential newspapers and was able to dent into her double-digit lead, reducing it to 9 per cent.


Image: Republican leader Dino Teppara with his wife at Haley's final campaign event
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com
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