COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - Gov. Nikki Haley will address South Carolinians in her seventh - and likely, her final - State of the State Address Wednesday night.
The address is happening a week earlier than normal because next week Haley will go through a confirmation process that, if successful, will lead to her transition to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Haley says dealing with lawmakers and serving as the state's healer-in-chief through deadly natural disasters, a shooting massacre, and other crises has equipped her for the job of U.N. ambassador.
"Everything I've done leading up to this point has always been about diplomacy," the conservative Republican said Monday. "It's been about trying to lift up everyone - getting them to work together for the greater good - and that's what I'm going to attempt to do going forward."
The South Carolina-born daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley became the nation's youngest governor in 2011 at age 38 and was re-elected in 2014. She turns 45 on Inauguration Day, two days before Senate confirmation hearings open on her nomination by President-elect Donald Trump.
Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster is expected to succeed Haley as governor when Haley takes on the ambassadorship.
State Sen. Thomas McElveen of Sumter will deliver the Democratic response to Haley's address.
"I think it is imperative that people of South Carolina understand the tremendous challenges we face moving forward," McElveen said. "We have many issues in our state that require immediate attention and South Carolina Democrats have been talking about these issues for quite some time now."
McElveen said it will take a bi-partisan effort and collaboration from the executive branch in order address these issues going forward.
Haley's address is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the House chambers at the Statehouse.