South Carolina GOP Battles Against Haley
National party wants her, but locals are going rogue
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2010 1:30 PM CDT
Sarah Palin waves to supporters after endorsing Nikki Haley in this May 14 file photo.   (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain, File)
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(Newser) – National Republicans may be throwing themselves behind Nikki Haley, but much of the South Carolina GOP is doing everything it can to thwart her ahead of the June 22 runoff primary. Many lawmakers, and one former candidate, are backing GOP congressman Gresham Barrett, as is the state Chamber of Commerce. Haley is seen as a protégé of Mark Sanford, who has loads of enemies in the party.

“We have wasted eight years with Mark Sanford,” one Republican state representative complains to Politico, worrying that Haley would “follow that same road.” Barrett himself has attacked Haley as “the Sanford candidate.” Other insiders didn’t mind Sanford, but know Haley would have a toxic relationship with the legislature that did. But national Republicans see Haley as a rising star, and she’s got the likes of Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney pushing hard for her.