Nikki Haley Race Heads to Runoff

She's the top vote-getter in SC governor's primary
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2010 8:22 PM CDT
Updated Jun 8, 2010 9:00 PM CDT
Nikki Haley likes the early returns. She's watching with her husbandm Michael Haley.   (AP Photo/Brett Flashnick)
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(Newser) – Nikki Haley easily survived the whiff of scandal tonight in her first step toward becoming South Carolina's first female governor. With nearly all the votes counted, Haley held a double-digit lead over her Republican primary opponents, though she is just short of the 50% mark needed to avoid a runoff, reports the Washington Post. The AP called a runoff, which will take place June 22.

Haley—a tea party favorite endorsed by Sarah Palin—had 49%, with Gresham Barrett at 21.6%, and two others further back. Haley's comfortable margin tonight suggests she won't have much trouble winning the party nod. The eventual winner will face tonight's Democratic primary victor, state Senator Vincent Sheehan.

  • In another closely watched race in the state, GOP congressman Bob Inglis survived for now. The incumbent forced a runoff with challenger Trey Gowdy, who won the overall vote easily.

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