Nikki Haley officially launched her 2024 presidential campaign Thursday at the Charleston Visitors Center bus shed | Photo by Ruta Smith

Former S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley hit the presidential campaign trail late this week with two stops in New Hampshire, the location for the first Republican primary in 2024, after launching her bid in Charleston on Wednesday. 

On Thursday, she held her first New Hampshire town hall in Exeter. Her second event was to be Friday in Manchester. Haley is set to travel to Iowa next, continuing to make stops in key states for the 2024 primary elections. 

Also this week, Haley picked up an important New Hampshire endorsement. A former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in the administration of former President Donald Trump, Haley campaigned in New Hampshire in fall 2022 to support retired Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc in his race for U.S. Senate. Now, Bolduc has endorsed Haley via Twitter

Haley, first elected to the S.C. House in 2004, this week touted herself as part of a “new generation” of conservative leaders ready to take on longtime politicians. 

“America is not past our prime — it’s just that our politicians are past theirs,” she said. “We’re ready — ready to move past the stale ideas and faded names of the past, and we are more than ready for a new generation to lead us into the future.”  Read more here.

In other news this week:

S.C. House again passes near-total abortion ban. The S.C. House of Representatives on Wednesday again passed a near-total abortion ban and showed no signs of budging on its long-held stance. The bill included exceptions for rape, incest, fatal fetal anomaly and the patient’s health and life. The bill poses a possible impasse for GOP lawmakers. S.C. Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, R-Edgefield, said the upper chamber lacks the votes for the House’s more restrictive bill, and has instead advanced an amended version of the prior ban on abortion after cardiac activity is detected around six weeks. 

State senators alarmed by Eckstrom’s $3.5 billion accounting error. The chair of the Senate Finance subcommittee said he lost confidence in S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom’s ability to accurately answer questions about the state’s overstated cash balance of $3.5 billion over the last 10 years.

S.C. on the verge of enacting the school voucher program. The bill that creates a program for poverty level and some middle-class families to apply for scholarships has the backing of the Republican majority. 

S.C. lawmakers propose ‘Yankee Tax’ for newcomers moving to S.C. A bill sponsored by S.C. Sen. Stephen Goldfinch, R-Murrells Inlet, would allow counties to impose an extra $250 driver’s license fee and extra $250 vehicle licensing registration fee on out-of-state newcomers.

S.C. lawmakers revive efforts to remove gun permit carry requirements. Republican lawmakers have revived efforts to allow firearm owners to carry without a permit.

S.C. bill could keep cities, counties from redistricting for short-term rentals. The bill would cut off state funding for cities and counties that redistrict short-term rentals.

Bill banning “Carolina Squat” vehicles passes S.C. Senate. The South Carolina Senate gave final approval Tuesday to a bill that would ban what’s known as the “Carolina Squat.” A similar bill was introduced last session, but failed to make it to Gov. Henry McMaster’s desk.

New S.C. legislation could allow minors to play pinball machines. Pinball supporters are pushing to have what many see as an outdated South Carolina law reversed so that people under the age of 18 can play legally.

In other Charleston-area news:

Hands pointing upward to rim new memorial fountain in Charleston. Durham, N.C., sculptor Stephen Hayes is working to get as many plastic castings completed of the 36 pairs of hands that will rim the Anson African Burial Memorial fountain, a tribute to 36 people interred in the 1700s in a burial plot at today’s Charleston Gaillard Center.

Witness says Murdaugh wanted to die after wife, son killed.  A phone interview between disbarred lawyer Alex Murdaugh and a state agent revealed Murdaugh and a former client planned and failed to kill Murdaugh so his surviving son could collect millions of dollars in life insurance. Prosecutors reportedly played the September 2021 phone call before jurors Thursday as evidence that Murdaugh resorted to violence to solve his problems. 

Charleston considers Dockside condo evacuation amid safety concerns. Residents of Dockside Condominiums, the tallest building in Charleston, may be forced to vacate the 19-story harborfront structure by the end of February due to its poor structural integrity.

Charleston Co. teachers, principals ask school board to keep literacy curriculum. Several dozen educators, students and parents asked the Charleston County School Board to keep EL Education, a New York-based nonprofit that provides curricula and training to schools across the country.

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