Politics & Government

S.C. Senate Democratic official reprimanded for Gov. Haley tweets

Phil Bailey, the S.C. Senate Democratic Caucus political director, was reprimanded and told to take down his Twitter feed after calling Gov. Nikki Haley a "Sikh Jesus" in tweets, a Senate leader said.

Bailey's tweet on Wednesday came after Haley spoke to the S.C. GOP executive committee before the group voted to certify Katrina Shealy to run in the Republican primary against Sen. Jake Knotts of Lexington. Shealy was among more than 180 candidates punted from the ballot after the state Supreme Court ruled office seekers needed to file a paper copy of their statement of economic interest.

Bailey tweeted: "@nikkihaley is the Sikh Jesus. She can resurrect an unlawful campaign from the dead by simply appearing at a @SCGOP hearing," according to a report from BuzzFeed. He used the term "Sikh Jesus" in another tweet. Haley was raised a Sikh but converted to Christianity.

Bailey, who was working with senators Thursday, declined comment, saying he had to go to a meeting.

Sen. Brad Hutto, an Orangeburg Democrat who is among the caucus leaders, said he reprimanded Bailey and told him to close his Twitter account immediately. Bailey's feed was down Thursday.

"I got in his face and told him that it will not happen again," Hutto said. "Everybody is in agreement that what he did was inappropriate. He called me, and said he did something inappropriate. I don't even know exactly what Twitter is but he's not going to be doing it."