Gov.-elect Haley announces staff selections

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina Gov.-elect Nikki Haley's staff hires include a former top campaign aide to U.S. Sen. John McCain's presidential campaigns as well as her campaign manager and a former state legislator.

Tim Pearson, who ran Haley's come-from-behind campaign, will be her chief of staff. Pearson is currently chief of staff for her transition team, and worked previously as a communications advisor to Gov. Mark Sanford, and a speechwriter for U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.

Trey Walker, who ran state and regional McCain presidential operations in 2000 and 2008, will be Haley's deputy chief of staff for legislative affairs and communications. That puts him in a lobbying role with lawmakers. He's done similar work with Attorney General Henry McMaster for years.

Former state Rep. Ted Pitts is deputy chief of staff for policy and Cabinet affairs. Pitts is a veteran in the war in Afghanistan, and did not seek re-election in 2010 after he was deployed with his South Carolina Army National Guard Unit. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service.

Former Republican Governors Association fundraiser Katherine Haltiwanger will be Haley's Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations. Haltiwanger was a state finance director for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, and also worked for the Sanfords.

Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey will serve as press secretary. Prior to joining the Haley campaign, Godfrey was campaign spokesman for Attorney General McMaster.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.