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Nikki Haley set to kick off re-election campaign

Washington, Aug 14 (IANS) South Carolina’s Indian-American Governor Nikki Haley is all set to kick off her re-election campaign with the help of some of the biggest names in the Republican Party, including fellow Indian-American governor Bobby Jindal.

Born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa to Sikh immigrant parents from Amritsar, India, the youngest US governor will officially announce her campaign at a rally in Greenville Aug 26, her spokesman Rob Godfrey tweeted.

Besides Louisiana governor, Jindal the rally will feature will feature two other fellow high-profile Republican governors Rick Perry of Texas, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, according to Greenville News.

South Carolina’s Tim Scott, whom Haley appointed to the Senate to replace former Senator Jim DeMint, will emcee the event.

Meanwhile Vincent Sheheen, a Democratic state senator who challenged Haley in 2010, has also announced he will run for governor again, according to Politico, influential Washington news site focusing on politics.

While Democrats suggest that Haley would find the going tough, a top Haley strategist Jon Lerner predicted “she will win a by a bigger margin than 2010,” according to the Washington Post.

“Haley is well-funded, and will continue to fill her campaign coffers at a quick pace. Sheheen has put up impressive fundraising numbers so far, but Haley’s head start means he has a lot of ground to make up,” it said.

The fact that Wallker, Jindal and Perry will be at her Aug 26 kickoff events suggests she will be able to tap the national money pipeline again and again, the Post said.

“The natural tilt of the state gives Haley an advantage, too,” it said noting “Haley’s 2010 race against Sheheen was pretty competitive, even in a Republic wave year. But the the state remains a bright red (Republican), which is a challenge for Sheheen.”

“For Democrats, it’s an opportunity to make a pickup in a deeply Republican state, which would be a big-time gain for the party,” the daily said.

“The bottom line is this: South Carolina is a contest worth watching, because of the high stakes both in and outside the state,” the Post said.

“And while the race could move in either direction as we head toward 2014, right now, Haley could lose, but just about everything would need to go right for Democrats,” it said.

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