S.C. State Reps. Nikki Haley and Bakari Sellers have been honored by Time magazine as “rising stars” in American politics and part of “a new generation of civic leaders.”
Haley and Sellers’ made Time’s “40 Under 40” list of top young politicos, which was released onThursday.
Haley, 38, is a fourth-term representative and the Palmetto state’s GOP gubernatorial nominee, while Sellers, 26, is a second-term Democratic state lawmaker. Four years ago, Sellers was the youngest person ever elected to serve in the S.C. General Assembly – and while we’ve ripped him in the past on various issues, it’s hard to dispute his emergence as one of the more thoughtful members of the legislature.
Both lawmakers hail from rural Bamberg County, S.C.
“Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, may seem an unlikely figure to lead the rebirth of South Carolina’s Republican Party,” Time writes. “But when the stiletto-heeled 38-year-old bested three white men to win its gubernatorial nomination in June, she proved that the good-ol’-boy culture of Southern politics is no match for a charismatic conservative newcomer who promises to shake up the Palmetto State.”
Interestingly enough, both candidates were asked a series of five questions – one of which was to name their “go-to political blog.”
Haley chose RedState.com – a national conservative blog with close ties to her Beltway-based political consultant, Jon Lerner (who also advises S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford). RedState.com aggressively defended Haley earlier this year when allegations of infidelity rocked her campaign. In fact, three days after FITS founding editor Will Folks was forced to go public with his “inappropriate physical relationship” with Haley, RedState’s Erick Erickson claimed that Folks had been paid to smear Haley – and that he knew who was behind it.
“We know who paid Will Folks to push this story out there,” Erickson wrote.
Within 24 hours, however, Erickson had backed down from his accusation completely. In fact he published a follow-up post saying “I have no clue if anyone is behind Will Folks doing this” and admitted further that he was merely stringing the media along “like Folks has done.”
Meanwhile, Sellers gave a somewhat surprising answer when asked to name his “go-to political blog.”
“It’s actually a conservative blog in South Carolina. It’s called FITSNews,” Sellers told Time. “It’s not too friendly to my side of the aisle, but it’s interesting reading.”