Nikki Haley ready to enter the 2024 presidential race
Haley’s expected announcement represents a turnaround: Haley said in 2021 that she would not run for president if Trump did. But Haley telegraphed her change of plans in an interview with Fox News earlier this month, saying, “It’s bigger than a person. And when we look to America’s future, I think it’s time for a new generational shift. I don’t think you need to be 80 to be a leader in DC”
Trump has already begun to shed some light on the change, stressing to reporters over the weekend that she had previously said she would defer to him.
Haley, whose parents were Indian immigrants, has long been considered a potential presidential candidate. After serving in the South Carolina legislature, Haley won the gubernatorial election in 2010, after winning a hotly contested primary in which she was initially considered the underdog. During the primary, she was supported by the likes of former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
Haley spent six years as governor. In 2017, Trump chose her to join his cabinet. After two years of service, she started a nonprofit political organization that served to promote her policies and, later, a political action committee that allowed her to endorse endorsed candidates.
The PAC, Stand for America, also helped fund Haley’s trip to early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire, where she dithered for local candidates.
Haley’s decision to launch her campaign in her native South Carolina shows how critical the early voting state is to her prospects — and several other candidates. Haley could face competition from another Home State candidate, Sen. Tim Scott, who is also considering a bid. Haley nominated Scott to the Senate in 2012. He has since won elections for two full terms.
Trump also appears to be state-focused, having made an appearance in Columbia, SC over the weekend. The former president was endorsed by Senators Lindsey Graham and Henry McMaster, both longtime allies.
Trump won South Carolina’s GOP primary in 2016 – a contest in which he prevailed over Haley-backed candidate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Haley eyed Trump in a congressional primary contest in South Carolina last year, when Haley put her political muscle behind GOP Rep. Nancy Mace, who faced a Trump-backed primary challenge from Katie Arrington . Mace easily won the primary for the Charleston area seat.