South Carolina governor's race veers from sex to religion

The State (Columbia, S.C.)June 16, 2010 

Religion could emerge as a wedge issue in this year's race for South Carolina governor after Republican state Sen. Jake Knotts' reference to GOP front-runner Nikki Haley as a "raghead" and voter confusion about Haley's religious conversion to Christianity from Sikhism.

It won't be Haley's first tussle over religion.

During Haley's 2004 matchup against state Rep. Larry Koon, the 30-year House veteran mailed a letter to voters pointing out Haley's Indian maiden name, Nimrata Nikki Randhawa. An e-mail campaign also falsely claimed she was a Buddhist.

Democratic front-runner Vincent Sheheen may be in for a dose of it, too.

Sheheen may be the only Catholic in S.C. history to win his party's nomination in a gubernatorial race. (Jim Byrnes, governor from 1951-55, was raised a Catholic but became an Episcopalian as an adult.)

It would not be the first time religion has been used as a tool in the rough-and-tumble world of S.C. politics.

Read the full story on TheState.com

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service