Palin nod doesn't translate into cash for Haley

COLUMBIA --- A key endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin didn't change the financial fortunes of state Rep. Nikki Haley's campaign to become South Carolina's first female governor, campaign finance reports released Tuesday show.


But what Haley lacks in cash, the Lexington Republican is making up in media coverage.

Haley's campaign finance report shows she has raised $102,762 since April 1, landing her last among four GOP hopefuls in the June 8 primaries to replace term-limited Gov. Mark Sanford.

Two weeks ago, Palin endorsed Haley from the Statehouse steps in Columbia, and expectations rose that she'd cash in on that.

It didn't happen, but Haley campaign manager Tim Pearson doesn't mind.

"We'll take the bump in the polls," he said.

Haley's visibility soared thanks to the Palin nod and the sympathy that has poured in after Columbia blogger Will Folks said Monday he'd had a physical relationship with her. He hasn't backed up the claim, and Haley, married for 13 years, has denied the claim.

Haley hit back Monday with call-in interviews to radio stations in Charleston, Columbia and Greenville and wrapped up the day denying the allegations forcefully at a Greenville Chamber of Commerce candidate forum.

It was media coverage Haley couldn't buy -- and still can't.

Her financial report, filed after the midnight Monday deadline, shows she is last in cash on hand with $387,348.

Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer ended the filing period with $736,395 on hand, the most cash among GOP candidates. U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett was second with $647,627 and Attorney General Henry McMaster third with $545,444. Bauer previously put $70,000 of his own cash and borrowed $245,000 for the race while none of his remaining GOP opponents has borrowed or used personal cash.

In the Democratic primary, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen reported $307,250 in cash on hand and Education Superintendent Jim Rex had $32,100. Both filed their reports Tuesday. State Sen. Robert Ford had not filed a report by Tuesday afternoon. He said he wasn't aware the report was due.

Sheheen has raised $140,926 since April, more than three times the $50,530 Rex generated.

Rex campaign manager Zeke Stokes noted Sheheen has spent more than $1 million while Rex has spent $407,000 and is still competitive in polling data.

So far, the remaining candidates for the state's highest office have raised $9.2 million and spent $6.6 million.

Gubernatorial candidates' finances
Andre Bauer$274,315$736,395
Gresham Barrett$190,996$647,627
Henry McMaster$127,570$545,444
Nikki Haley$102,762$387,348
Vincent Sheheen$140,926$307,250
Jim Rex$50,530$32,100
Robert FordDidn't file

Source: Associated Press