BAMBERG, S.C. (WJBF) — Nikki Haley launched her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday in Charleston. The backdrop for her announcement was in Bamberg.

“People were surprised that Bamberg was spotlighted and started there to know these are her roots,” Chairman of the Bamberg County Republican Party Sharon Carter told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk. : 

Those roots run deep. Her father was a Voorhees University professor and her mother taught in the Bamberg County school system. “Just down the road is where Exotica is located that her parents owned and operated and she was doing the bookwork for them at like 12 years old,” Carter recalls. “She and her sister ran the store. Everybody in town bought their prom dress from there. So, a family business,” she added.

Carter with the Bamberg County Republican Party shared Haley has always been a proponent of education in rural areas. “The moment she came, she told the school board, ‘Hey, let me know what you guys need.’ Denmark requested supplies and she provided them and she continues to do so with her nonprofit to this day. Bamberg requested an afterschool program and she still fully funds that afterschool program,” she added.

In addition to education, Haley addresses term limits, border security, and strengthening the purpose of the American people. “You just have to stick to your guns and make sure that you follow and don’t, you know, cow tail down to the people who are not, are favorable to us,” she said.

Haley is the first major Republican to challenge former President Donald Trump officially. “Because the policies she agreed with under the Trump administration was sound, but the process and the divisiveness and how he, you know, simply just needed to stop tweeting. We didn’t all want to hear those opinions of someone that was so arrogant and she’s humble,” she said.