The Buzz

February 4, 2014

ELECTION 2014: Vincent Sheheen criticizes Nikki Haley for not traveling to Charleston during winter storm

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to thebuzz@thestate.com.

Gov. Nikki Haley has her own bridge problem, according to state Sen. Vincent Sheheen.

The Democratic candidate for governor criticized Haley for not going to Charleston during last week's snow storm that forced the closure of the Ravenel Bridge, causing traffic jams along I-526.

"Gov. Haley would not go to Charleston when the Ravenel Bridge was icing up," Sheheen told reporters Tuesday. "But she shows up the next week to talk about political stuff. ... She and the (Department of Transportation) director should have been there. That's what leadership is, and that's what we haven't seen."

Haley was in Charleston on Tuesday to speak to the Charleston Chamber of Commerce and the Charleston Rotary Club.

The Ravenel Bridge -- which connects Charleston with Mount Pleasant -- was closed for nearly 44 hours because of ice. Transportation officials say the bridge cannot be treated with salt like other bridges because its surface -- a latex-concrete overlay -- can only be treated with a brine mix. As The State's Joey Holleman reported last week , rain washed the brine off the bridge, turning it into a solid sheet of ice.

"In truth, South Carolina had far fewer complications from the storm than other southeastern states and today's rant is just further proof that there is no set of facts that Vince Sheheen won't try and distort to get himself elected," Haley campaign spokesman Rob Godfrey said.

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