NIkki Haley holding a microphone standing in front of an American flag and with another on her jumper.

U.S Election: Nikki Haley

Posted by Speakeasy News > Monday 22 January 2024 > In the News

As of 21 January, Nikki Haley is the only opponent to Donald Trump in the Republican Presidential primaries. Who is the former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations?

Born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa in South Carolina in 1972, Haley, 51, is the daughter of Indian Sikh immigrants. She worked in the family business before being elected as a Republican to the South Carolina legislature House of Representatives in 2004. She was re-elected four years later, before successfully running for Governor of the state in 2010. For that campaign, she received support from the right-wing Tea Party movement but these days she is considered more of a moderate, traditional Republican (at least in contrast to Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, who tried to place himself to the right of Trump during his short-lived campaign.)

She didn't support Trump's candidature in 2016, but accepted his offer of the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations before resigning 19 months into the post.

Haley was the first Republican candidate to declare herself an opponent to Trump for this election, saying it was “time for a new generation.” She was perceived to have done well in the televised debates which pitted various candidates against each other before primary season. Donald Trump chose not to participate in them.

In a political world where candidates's families regularly appear to be used for political capital, Haley's campaign has focused solely on the politician. You would be hard put to find out from her site that she is married to Michael Haley, a former National Guard, and that the couple have three children.

Instead, the campaign has focused on social-media friendly one-liners like the one that concludes this campaign ad:  "I don’t put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts more if you’re wearing heels."

Nikki Haley with a quote; I envision an America that's strong and proud -- not weak and woke.

For more on this year's election, check our article. For more on caucuses and primaries, check out our explainer.

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