Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley announced today the formation of a business council to "support and advise" her in the final weeks of the campaign.
Haley is battling Democratic nominee Vincent Sheheen and Green and United Citizens' parties nominee Morgan Reeves in the race to replace term-limited Gov. Mark Sanford.
“Nikki Haley understands what we need to do to get our state back on track,” said Burnie Maybank, a member of the council who served under Republican governors Carroll Campbell, Beasley and Sanford. “This is a critical election and the choice between the two candidates is clear. Job creation and economic development cannot afford to be sidetracked by crippling federal ObamaCare mandates and out of control federal government spending, which left unchallenged will bankrupt our state.”
Since winning the Republican nomination, Haley has sought to assure the business community that she will be more willing to work with the General Assembly on business issues and less ideologically rigid than Sanford. Haley and Sanford have been political allies.
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In a blow to Haley, the S.C. Chamber of Commerce endorsed Sheheen. Haley has picked up the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business, though it is a less coveted endorsement.
Besides Maybank, Haley's business council includes some of the state's most successful business leaders, most with strong Republican ties. Among them are textile magnate Roger Milliken, who recently retired the state Republican Party's mortgage debt, and Columbia attorney Bill Stern, a Sanford appointee who heads the governing board of the State Ports Authority.
Haley's business council includes:
April Allen, Greenville, O’Neal, Inc.
Vic Bailey, Spartanburg, Car Dealer
Peter Bristow, Columbia, First Citizens
Peter Brown, Columbia, Colite International
Edgerton Burroughs, Myrtle Beach, Burroughs and Chapin
Tobin Cassels, Columbia, Southeastern Freight
Bob Castellani, Greenville, Circle Creek Holdings
Cary Chastain, Charleston, Moe's
Derick Close, Rock Hill, Springs Creative
Byron Davis, Isle of Palms, Fisher-Price (retired)
The Honorable Frederick B. Dent, Spartanburg, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce
Dial Dubose, Pickens, Developer
Dave Ellison, Greenville, Northwestern Mutual
Darrell Ferguson, Charleston, Ferguson Copeland
Eddie Floyd, M.D., Florence, Surgeon
Cleave Ham, M.D., Charleston, Radiologist
Bill Hewitt, Charleston, Entrepreneur
Laura Hewitt, Charleston, Entrepreneur
Jim Hudson, Columbia, Car Dealer
Jane Huggins, Florence, Developer
Rex Huggins, Florence, Developer
George Dean Johnson, Greenville, Johnson Development
Mike Johnson, Orangeburg, Cox Wood
Susu Johnson, Greenville, Johnson Development
Dick Jones, Esq., Greenville, Dobson Law Firm
Wes Jones, Esq., Beaufort, Jones, Simpson & Newton
Neel Keenan, Columbia, Colliers Keenan
Mark Kent, Greenville, Kent Wool
Paul Lieber, John's Island, Royal Labs,
Peggy Lieber, John's Island, Royal Labs
Leighton Lord, Columbia, Nexsen Pruet
The Honorable Burnie Maybank, Columbia, former Director of S.C. Dept. of Revenue
Smyth McKissick, Greenville, Alice Manufacturing
Pat McKinney, Charleston, Kiawah Development Partners
The Honorable Henry McMaster, Columbia, South Carolina Attorney General
Roger Milliken, Spartanburg, Milliken & Co.
Steve Morris, Columbia, Colliers Keenan
Steven Mungo, Columbia, Homebuilder
Seema Patel, Entrepreneur, Lexington
Caroline Rhodes, Charleston, The Charleston Angler
Lewis Smoak, Esq., Greenville, Ogletree Deakins
Bill Stern, Columbia, Ports Authority
Ric Tapp, Esq., Charleston, Nexsen Pruet
Katon Dawson, Columbia, Businessman
Sharon Webber, Greenville, Super Duper Publications
Kenyon Wells, Lexington, Kenyon Wells & Associates
The Honorable David Wilkins, Greenville, Nelson Mullins
Larry Wilson, Columbia, Entrepreneur
George Wolfe, Esq., Columbia, Nelson Mullins
Vivian Wong, Greenville, Entrepreneur