Gov. Nikki Haley accepts offer to be Trump's U.N. Ambassador

Governor Nikki Haley
Governor Nikki Haley
Published: Nov. 23, 2016 at 8:20 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2016 at 9:22 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has accepted President-elect Donald Trump's offer to become the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Several media outlets, including CNN and the Associated Press, confirmed the appointment Wednesday morning. Haley becomes the first female to join Trump's administration.

"Governor Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country," Trump said in a statement. "She is also a proven dealmaker, and we look to be making plenty of deals. She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage."

According to sources cited in these reports, Haley's staff is expected to make an announcement regarding her selection as U.N. Ambassador at some point on Wednesday.

"Our country faces enormous challenges here at home and internationally, and I am honored that the President-elect has asked me to join his team and serve the country we love as the next Ambassador to the United Nations," Haley said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported Haley was the leading candidate for United Nations Ambassador.

Last week, reports indicated Haley was being floated as a candidate for Secretary of State. However, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney appears to be the leading choice for the nation's top diplomat, the Wall Street Journal said.

This would be Haley's first position in the federal government. To be officially named to the position, Haley would need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

If confirmed, Haley would succeed Samantha Power, who served as President Barack Obama's U.N. ambassador since 2013.

The popular two-term Republican governor from the Palmetto State is one of many figures in the GOP to join the Trump administration following a fractious year-and-a-half long election campaign.

RELATED: See others being considered for cabinet positions in the Trump administration.

Speculation that she was being vetted for a cabinet-level position within the Trump administration began last week with a report from MSNBC's Joe Scarborough claiming she was being considered for Secretary of State.

Haley met with Trump on Thursday and said they had a "good conversation."

Haley and Trump have had a difficult relationship at times during the campaign. She never endorsed him throughout the primary process, and instead picked Sen. Marco Rubio at first and Sen. Ted Cruz second.

Still, once Rubio, Cruz, and all the rest dropped out, Trump was the last man standing and Haley said she would vote for him because of policy issues.

Haley's rise within the Republican Party has been the very definition of meteoric. She unseated the then-longest-serving member of South Carolina House of Representatives, Larry Koon, in the 2004 Republican primary.

Six years later, she successfully won the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary over several other more well-known and much better-financed candidates. She then won the governor's chair over Sen. Vincent Sheheen 51 percent to 47 percent.

Despite a rocky start to her governorship due to controversies with the state Department of Social Services and a hack that exposed the private information of millions of South Carolinians, Haley easily won re-election in 2014.

2015 was a difficult year for the governor. In the span of a year, Haley had to deal with twin crises that not only received national attention but rocked the very foundation of the state.

In June 2015, a gunman fueled by hopes of sparking a race war walked into a historic African-American church and gunned down nine parishioners, including a state senator. The shooting resulted in a bi-partisan push by Haley and state legislators to remove the Confederate flag from the State House grounds.

RELATED: See photos of the Confederate flag's removal from the State House grounds.

Months later, in October 2015 a 1,000-year flood drenched and washed out parts of the Lowcountry and Midlands.

RELATED: See photos from the historic October flooding.

Haley received acclaim for her handling and resolve in both those crises.

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