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Haley’s Picking Romney Shocks Tea Party

Friday, January 13, 2012

(Bloomberg) South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is betting her future on Mitt Romney’s, exhausting the support that Tea Partyers once supplied her.

Haley endorsed Romney in the state’s Jan. 21 Republican presidential primary, a decision that might vault her into national office or stall her career in Columbia, scorned by those who elected her.

“It was like your best friend took up with a really bad boyfriend,” said Karen Martin, 54, an organizer for the Tea Party chapter in Spartanburg County.

Haley, 39, was elected in 2010 as a champion of the movement that pushed states’ rights and fiscal rectitude. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she was an adversary of the Legislature’s good-old-boy network and became the first woman to run the state that ranks 50th in female representation, said Karen Kedrowski, political science chairwoman for Rock Hill’s Winthrop University.

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