2024 hopeful Nikki Haley rallies supporters in Lexington County where she began her career in elected politics

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Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 5:54 PM EDT

LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Former South Carolina governor and 2024 presidential candidate Nikki Haley rallied supporters in Lexington County on Thursday, where she began her career in elected politics.

“I love this state, I love this county, you’ve been very good to me,” Haley said on Thursday night. “But let me make you this promise, and I make this very seriously: we will work together, we will win, and I promise you, our best days are ahead of us.”

The rally was held at the Grove on Augusta in Gilbert.

The former governor represented parts of Lexington County in the South Carolina State House from 2005-2011.

Haley delivered her typical stump speech on Thursday, and touted her record at the State House, as governor, and as United States Ambassador to the United Nations under former President Donald Trump.

She has leaned heavily into her foreign policy credentials on the trial thus far.

On the war in Ukraine, Haley said, “This is a war about freedom, and it’s a war we have to win.”

She said that if Russia were to win, there could be a world war.

Haley called on the United States to provide its allies with the ammunition needed to succeed.

The rally comes after Haley toured the southern border on Monday.

She has also made securing the border a priority and has proposed adding 25,000 Border Patrol and ICE agents.

“We have to do something,” Haley said in an interview after the campaign stop. “The idea that they’re just letting them go though, what we saw on the border was horrific. And every state is now a border state.”

Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, said that it is time for a new generation of leadership.

“The way to do that is to send a badass woman to the White House,” she said.

WIS spoke with voters both firmly in Haley’s camp and those who are still mulling over who to vote for in this primary.

“She has never lost a race,” Jared Howard, a Haley supporter, said. “She’s come from behind every time she’s ever run for office and she’s always won. So I want to see if she could do it again. I believe she can.”

Laura Bailey is all-in for Haley and said she was thrilled when she announced her candidacy.

“I feel like she’s the best-qualified candidate,” she said. “I think she has a proven track record here in the state of South Carolina. As governor, she did so much for jobs in this state, the economy, and moving the state forward.”

Susan Blackmer recently moved to South Carolina from Florida and was also impressed with Haley’s governorship.

She has not committed to a candidate for president in 2024 yet, however.

“I’m anxious to see how she plays out on the national stage,” Blackmer said. “It’s going to be a tough run against Trump and a tough run against DeSantis should he decide to go, but I’m interested to see what Nikki Haley has to say.”

The event comes on the heels of the announcement of an impressive fundraising haul.

Haley’s campaign announced that she raised more than $11 million during the first six weeks of her run for the White House.

That figure is more than Trump, who raised $9.5 million during the same period since announcing his third presidential run.

Haley is polling the single digits nationally despite the strong fundraising showing.

“Fact: the polls you see now won’t be the polls you see a year from now,” she said on Thursday night.

Haley said she was blessed to serve this district in Lexington County, and the Palmetto State as governor.

Rep. Nathan Ballentine, R-Richland, a longtime friend who served in the state legislature with Haley, introduced her at Thursday’s rally.

“It was great to be with my deskmate Nathan Ballentine again and get all this love from Lexington,” Haley said. “It’s a special place, and it’s a place I’ve always wanted to make proud, and I’ll continue to fight to make them proud.”

This was Haley’s third rally in her home state since she joined the race for president back in mid-February.

You can watch the video of the rally on the WIS Youtube channel.


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