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SC's first family gives glimpse of life in Governor's Mansion

Gov. Nikki Haley, her husband Michael and children, Rena and Nalen talk about life in the Governor's Mansion. (Photo Source: WCSC) Gov. Nikki Haley, her husband Michael and children, Rena and Nalen talk about life in the Governor's Mansion. (Photo Source: WCSC)

Gov. Nikki Haley is days away from beginning her second term. And that means she and her family will spend another four years in the Governor's Mansion.

"I was very aware that I was young, not well known," Haley says as she looked back with her family at her side on her first term as governor. "People were skeptical and so really and so really trying to prove real good results for South Carolina was important."

To get those results, the governor said it all started with jobs. She says she worked hard to help bring almost 60,000 of them to the state during her first term.

A lot of people obviously liked what she had done because she blew away the competition last November in the gubernatorial race.

"We were overwhelmed, to come in with that strong of a win," she says. "It just humbled me more because it showed that results matter."

First gentleman Michael Haley doesn't seem fazed by being husband of the governor.

"I think the pros outweigh the cons," he says.

He says it isn't tough living in the "fish bowl" of public life.

"Everything always has its challenges. It doesn't matter what you do, there's always going to be a challenge," he says.

Michael served in the Army and the South Carolina National Guard, but doesn't anticipate being deployed overseas again as he was to Afghanistan for a year.

The governor's daughter, Rena, 16, really enjoys being a cheerleader and loves to dance. Rena echoes her father's sentiment about public life.

"I would say it's different but it's a lot of fun, and like my dad said, there's a lot of pros and cons. But the pros definitely outweigh the cons," Rena says.

Nalen is 13 and in seventh grade, and loves basketball so much, he even named two of his pet frogs after NBA stars: Lebron and Dwayne. On the grounds of the Governor's Mansion, there is a basketball goal across the driveway from a trampoline.

Nalen doesn't seem affected by life in the mansion, either.

"Well, they're still my mom and dad, and they're always there for me when I need them," he says.

Gov. Haley feels she'll be there for the people of South Carolina as well. She says if you liked her first four years, you'll love the next four.

She also says she would not leave office if asked to serve as vice president by a presidential candidate.

"I'm staying put," she insists. "I'm not going anywhere."

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