Nikki Haley, a Republican candidate with Tea Party support, bested Democrat opponent Vincent Sheheen and won the gubernatorial race for South Carolina on Tuesday, according to South Carolina daily newspaper The State.
Haley, 38, is the first minority governor to assume the top state position in South Carolina, becoming the second Indian-American governor since Republican Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. She is also the first female governor of the state.
She was a former state representative from the suburbs outside of Columbia and is the daughter of Sikh parents.
The Post and Courier in Charleston reported that Haley said that her campaign got a boost after she was endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. She added that she was not ready to endorse a potential bid for Palin to become president, however.
“No matter how you voted, I plan to get to work for you,” Haley said, according to The State.
Haley won 52 percent of the vote compared to Sheheen’s 47 percent, according to the Post and Courier.
“We're turning a page. We're turning a page on where we've been. But the history is going to be where we will go," she said.
Sheheen will remain a state senator.
"I look out on this crowd, and I know that just like me, you wished with all your might that we could take this state in a new direction," he said in his concession speech, according the Post and Courier. "It was a wonderful, wonderful experience and I have no regrets."