Of the 59 people whom Gov. Nikki Haley thus far has appointed to state boards or commissions, 26 donated to her campaign, according to state campaign finance records.
Those 26 — who account for 44 percent of Haley’s appointments — gave at least $74,703 to her campaign for governor.
Haley, who took office in January, has finished filling her Cabinet and now has started filling thousands of posts on boards and commissions that oversee state agencies, such as the Department of Health and Environmental Control, state colleges and universities, and state-run nonprofits, such as Patriots Point Development Authority, which runs the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum.
Haley surprised many last week when she chose campaign donor and Lexington attorney Thomas Cofield to replace Darla Moore on the University of South Carolina’s board of trustees. Moore pledged $70 million to the school and is the largest donor in USC history. Cofield gave to $4,500 Haley’s campaign.
Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey did not respond to a request for comment.
The governor can appoint 1,750 positions statewide and an additional 3,100 local positions — including those where legislators, the agency or the nonprofit recommends or nominates someone to Haley.
Haley has more nominees than usual because former Gov. Mark Sanford allowed the terms of many board members to expire without reappointing them or choosing a replacement.
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