Nikki Haley will take the oath of office as S.C. governor this morning on the State House’s south steps, just a few dozen yards from statues of former Govs. Wade Hampton and Strom Thurmond, visible reminders of South Carolina’s old guard.
Haley upset that old guard to win a four-way Republican primary in June and then rode a continuing wave of voter discontent to victory in November.
Since the founding of the United States, 85 men have served as S.C. governor.
Haley will be the first woman.
Haley also will be the state’s first Indian-American governor – she is the daughter of immigrants – and, at 38, the nation’s youngest sitting chief executive.
Wednesday’s inaugural ceremony and its participants will recognize the support Haley that saw from across the Palmetto State, said Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey. “People from across South Carolina joined the governor-elect’s movement.”
Among those on the program is the Rev. Brian Rainwater of Mount Horeb United Methodist, Haley’s Lexington County church.
“I never dreamed I would be doing the gubernatorial inauguration,” said Rainwater, who will be giving the invocation.
Rainwater said his prayer will focus on the Haley family and all those taking office Wednesday.
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