She may have left South Carolina, but former Gov. Nikki Haley hasn't left the state's politics behind, making a modest donation to the congressional campaign of one of her chief legislative backers.
The U.N. ambassador on Tuesday sent a $100 check to Ralph Norman, campaign officials confirmed to The Associated Press. The Republican resigned his state House term earlier this year to pursue the seat vacated by Mick Mulvaney's departure to run the White House budget office.
As ambassador, Haley won't make an overt endorsement, so a donation is as close as one would get. Norman was one of her biggest backers while in the Legislature, frequently speaking in opposition to lawmakers seeking to override Haley's budget vetoes. Norman's campaign celebrated the donation as a symbolic boost in a heated campaign battle.
"We view it as her endorsement and think it is a direct reflection of her appreciation for the fact that, over the years, Ralph was a staunch ally of hers when she was governor," Norman campaign adviser Walter Whetsell told AP on Wednesday.
Norman and House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope, the top two vote getters in last week's seven-way Republican primary, are competing in a GOP primary runoff election Tuesday. Rob Godfrey, a longtime Haley staffer who served as her chief spokesman, said the two Republicans have similar views on serving in public office.
"Like Nikki, he's a fighter, he's a reformer, and he's not afraid to remind politicians that they work for the taxpayers, not the other way around," Godfrey told AP.
The district spans 11 counties, stretching north of Columbia to the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina, and east to Sumter County, home to Shaw Air Force Base. The winner of Tuesday's runoff advances to face Democrat Archie Parnell and a handful of third-party contenders in the June 20 runoff.