Nikki Haley 5th Republican to file for SC GOP's presidential primary as deadline nears
Former S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023, became the fifth Republican presidential candidate to file for South Carolina's Feb. 24 GOP primary.
In the very building that launched Nikki Haley's national political career, the former governor on Monday filed to be on South Carolina's GOP presidential primary ballot.
"As a girl who was blessed to serve the state that raised me, and now honored to be running for president of the United States of the country I love so much, ... I will tell you, South Carolina has been my family, and now we look at a country that needs saving," Haley said at the Statehouse Monday, surrounded by dozens of supporters.
Haley became the fifth Republican presidential hopeful to file the official paperwork to run for the first-in-the-South GOP primary Feb. 24. She follows South Carolinian Sen. Tim Scott, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The state Republican Party said former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and businessman Ryan Binkley also filed as of Monday.
The deadline to file is 5 p.m. Tuesday.
On Monday, Haley, who served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration, laid out her 2024 platform, touching on the latest developments of the Israel-Hamas war.
If Israel does oust Hamas, Haley told reporters what happens to Gaza is up to Israel.
"I don't think that's for America to decide. This is a war that has been horrific. But I think it's also a war that we have to constantly remember, there would be no Hamas without Iran," Haley said.
Haley signed the paperwork Monday on the heels of a new Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll that shows Haley and DeSantis tied in second at 16%.
Scott, meanwhile, was at 7%, according to the poll.
Though still ahead of every one was Trump in first, with 43% of likely GOP caucus goers.
Haley said she likes being the underdog.
"It's what makes me scrappy," she said. "But no one's going to out-work me in this race. No one's going to out-smart me in this race. It is slow and steady wins the race. But you win it based on relationships. You win it based on touching every hand, answering every question and earning the trust of the American people."
And, touching on her candidacy, Haley acknowledged the temperature years ago when she first ran for governor in a field that included other notable Republican candidates.
"When I was running for governor, and I was Nikki who, and I had 3% in the polls, everybody else was endorsing everybody else. But these three guys, they were with me when it didn't make sense," Haley said at the Statehouse, acknowledging the support from U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman, R-Rock Hill; Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort; and Rep. Nathan Ballentine, R-Richland.
All three introduced Haley Monday.
"... They don't care about where the masses go," Haley continued. "They care about being in the right place at the right time."
The S.C. Democratic Party on Monday criticized Haley's tenure as governor, saying in a statement that S.C. voters "haven't forgotten" her record.
The party will hold its own first-in-the-nation primary Feb. 3.
Filing opens Nov. 1 and closes Nov. 10.