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South Carolina /Lowcountry News

Jan. 13 – A Republican party leader, official portrait of Gov. Nikki Haley unveiled

Category: South Carolina / Lowcountry News

By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal

January 13, 2015 - Governor Nikki Haley, believed by many to be a potential vice presidential candidate in the 2016 Republican primary, unveiled her official portrait today at the Governor’s Mansion Complex.

It is an oil-on-linen portrait by John Seibels Walker, and depicts Gov. Haley in the Small Drawing Room on the first floor of the executive residence. In the painting, Gov. Haley is wearing the suit she wore during an address to the 2012 Republican National Convention.

She has just begun her second term as South Carolina Governor.

The painting reflects those things most important in the governor’s life, according to the Governor’s staff:

• Family – photos of First Gentleman Michael Haley, daughter Rena Haley, and son Nalin Haley and the governor’s parents Dr. Ajit Randhawa and Raj Randhawa which are by the governor’s side;

• Alma mater Clemson University is represented by the governor’s class ring;

• The State of South Carolina, which she served in the General Assembly and leads as governor, and the United States of America, which she served as the sister and wife of combat veterans, are represented by the flags on Gov. Haley’s lapel pin.

The painting will be displayed – along with portraits of former governors including Gov. James B. Edwards, Gov. Richard W. Riley, Gov. Carroll Campbell and Gov. Mark Sanford – on the first floor of the residence beginning this week, as the governor is sworn in for a second term.

Artist John Seibels Walker was born in South Carolina. His body of work includes portraits of Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell, Chief Justice of South Carolina’s Supreme Court Jean H. Toal, Medical University of South Carolina Executive Director W. Stuart Smith and North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue.

Governor Haley’s Background

Born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, she was always called Nikki, which means “little one,” by her family, and grew up in Bamberg, SC. in a Sikh family.  Her father wears a turban and they were the first Indian immigrants to that small Southern town.

She was the first Sikh elected to the South Carolina Legislature and the first Republican Indian-American elected to any state legislature.

She has stated publicly that she was now been baptized in the Methodist Church. Her parents, Ajit and Raj Randhawa, are residents of Hilton Head Island.  He is the President of the Sikh Religious Society of South Carolina.


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