Nikki Haley Easily Wins GOP Runoff
She's poised to become S. Carolina's first female governor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2010 8:47 PM CDT
Updated Jun 23, 2010 6:00 AM CDT
South Carolina Republican candidates for governor, Nikki Haley and Gresham Barrett, are asked questions during a televised debate June 17.   (Mary Ann Chastain)
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(Newser) – Nikki Haley handily won the Republican nomination for governor last night in South Carolina. The runoff victory moves her an important step closer to becoming the first female governor in the conservative-leaning state. She brushed aside allegations of marital infidelity and an ethnic slur to come within a percentage point of winning the gubernatorial nod outright on June 8. In today's runoff, she led with 65% of the vote to Rep. Gresham Barrett's 35%.

Haley immediately became the front-runner in the race against the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen. In another notable state races, Tim Scott grabbed the GOP nod for a House seat over the son of Strom Thurmond. He would be the state's first black GOP congressman in more than a century. And six-term Republican Rep. Bob Inglis fell to prosecutor Trey Gowdy, making him the 5th incumbent House or Senate lawmaker to lose this year.