Government watchdog group Common Cause of South Carolina is asking Gov. Nikki Haley to step aside as governor, saying her pending nomination to become U.N, ambassador impedes her ability to do the job.
In a letter to the governor released Thursday, Common Cause director John Crangle notes, “The process of vetting, security clearance, confirmation, briefing, and training for the position of U.N. ambassador will require considerable time and effort on your part at a time when the new General Assembly will be convening in January 2017 and considering vital issues...”
In light of the timing of Haley’s nomination, Crangle asks her if “it would be in the best interests of the people of both South Carolina and the United States if you would take a leave of absence from your position as governor.”
“Gov. Haley has found no problems in doing her duties as governor while preparing for her Senate confirmation process,” Haley’s spokeswoman, Chaney Adams, said Thursday.
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Haley is expected to step down once her position as U.N. ambassador is approved, allowing Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster to take over as the state’s chief executive.
It’s unclear who would then take over as the state’s lieutenant governor. Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, has said he will not rise to fill the post. He could resign and another senator could be elected as the Senate leader and then rise to lieutenant governor.
However, some argue that, because of changes to the S.C. Constitution, McMaster could appoint his replacement.