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Nikki Haley gets ready for a rematch in South Carolina

Washington, March 28 (IANS) South Carolina’s Indian American Republican Governor Nikki Haley is getting ready for a November rematch with Democrat Vincent Sheheen banking on lower joblessness and a record of bringing jobs to the state

Haley, born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa to Sikh immigrant parents from Amritsar, India, and Democratic state Senator Sheheen both signed up for their second fight in four years Tuesday at the state Election Commission in Columbia.

Sheheen hopes the Haley administration’s first-term mishaps translate into the victory that eluded him in 2010, according to local newspaper The State.

Haley said she has clear differences with Sheheen – notably his support for the first three years’ Medicaid expansion of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act.

“This administration has worked hard as we possibly can to improve the lives of all people,” Haley was quoted as saying before meeting with volunteers at the South Carolina Republican headquarters.

“I represent all people. I fight for all people. And we have done that by putting all these jobs in rural counties,” she said.

Haley, 42, beat Sheheen by 4.5 percentage points in the 2010 election, a margin that has pundits giving the Democrat a chance of pulling off an upset in November, The State said.

Haley, currently America’s youngest chief executive of a US state, is the second Indian-American governor after fellow Republican Piyush “Bobby” Jindal, who was elected governor of Louisiana in 2007. He was re-elected in a landslide in 2011.

Republican Neel Tushar Kashkari, a former treasury department official who played a key role in bailing out the banks during the Bush administration, has also jumped into the governor’s race in California.

If elected, Kashkari, 40, would become the third Indian-American governor of a US state.

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