COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Governor-elect Nikki Haley is working on her transition to the state's top position after winning Tuesday night. That victory was significant on more than one level. Haley will be the first woman as well as the first minority to serve as South Carolina's governor. The incoming chief executive had lofty ambitions, and some obstacles when she was very young.
"I have to thank both mine and Michael's parents for reminding us every day how blessed we are to live in this country," Haley said. "Thank you very, very much."
Celebrating her victory Tuesday night, Haley paid tribute to her parents and their support for the nation they chose to make their home.
It was something Haley frequently mentioned on the campaign trail, along with her upbringing in the small town of Bamberg.
But many who voted for Haley might not know the extent of the challenges she and her family faced. Now, Haley's sister is providing details.
Simran Singh is a life coach and motivational speaker who runs Believe, what she calls a "life enhancement center" in Lexington. Following her sister's win in the governor's race, Singh posted a blog entry outlining their childhood.
Singh says parents Dr. Ajit and Raj Randhawa came to North America with eight dollars in cash and a strong work ethic. They moved from Vancouver to South Carolina, when her father landed a job at Voorhees College.
In Bamberg, Singh writes the family was forced to move twice due to racial discrimination, and prohibited by a landlord from having people of color in their home. Singh says she and her sister became victims again when they were disqualified from a pageant to choose "Little Miss Bamberg."
Singh says Nikki was "mesmerized" by numbers, and began working in her parents' business, promising at the age of 10 that she would someday become mayor of Bamberg.
Singh says it's no surprise that Nikki Haley has now been chosen as the state's governor.
To read the full blog entry, go to believesc.com.