In front of a tennis court-sized U.S. flag with Tom Petty’s “American Girl” blaring on speakers, Gov. Nikki Haley strode onto the stage Monday outside the Bi-Lo Center to announce her 2014 re-election bid.
Accompanied by three other Republican governors and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of North Charleston, Haley touted her record of job creation, union fighting, moving welfare recipients to jobs and passing lawsuit reform before hundreds of supporters and a few dozen protesters.
“If you think what we did in the first 2 1/2 years was great, wait until you see what we do next,” the 41-year-old Lexington Republican said.
Haley, the nation’s youngest governor, is expected to face Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen of Camden in a repeat of their 2010 race, which Haley won by 4.5 percentage points.
Haley put her record of creating 37,500 jobs and lowering the state’s unemployment rate at the top of pitch for re-election. But she drew the biggest applause when she talked about fighting Washington, D.C.’s questioning of Boeing’s decision to build a jet-making plant in North Charleston and the federal government’s efforts to expand health care coverage.