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Haley beefs up campaign fundraising, spending

Gov. Nikki Haley is in fundraising mode, raising more than $223,000 during the third quarter, a majority of it from out-of-state donors.

That is more than four times the amount that the first-term Republican governor raised during the preceding quarter, when lawmakers were still in session, tying her to Columbia.

Haley's most recent donations come from individuals and companies in 20 states, including Bridgestone Americas who cut Haley a $3,500 check the week after the company announced a $1.2 billion investment in Aiken County. She also got $7,000 from The Ethos Group, an auto insurer in Texas, where Eleanor Kitzman - Haley's friend and her former head of the S.C. Budget and Control Board - now is insurance commissioner.

Haley received:

137 donations totaling nearly $84,000 from S.C. donors, including a number from the state's Indian-American community. Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants.

17 donations totaling nearly $37,000 from Texas, where Haley held a fundraiser in September. Haley flew to the event on a plane provided by Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp. owner Lou Kennedy of Orlando, Fla. Nephron Pharmaceuticals also contributed $3,500 to Haley's campaign during the quarter while Kennedy donated nearly $3,000.

13 donations totaling more than $29,000 from New Jersey, where Haley held a fundraiser last month

39 donations totaling nearly $26,000 from Michigan, where Haley held a fundraiser in September

"There are people around the state and the country who appreciate what Gov. Haley is doing to make South Carolina a more business-friendly environment and want to support her -- and we very much appreciate that support," said Marisa Crawford, Haley's fundraiser, who was paid more than $16,000 during the quarter.

Haley has also ratcheted up her campaign spending.

The Republican from Lexington accepted nearly $24,000 in in-kind contributions such as plane rides from supporters to out-of-state fundraisers and spent nearly $51,000 -- compared with more than $32,000 spent during the preceding quarter -- on commercial plane tickets, food and hotels related to the fundraisers. The campaign also spent nearly $13,000 in printing costs paid to Starboard Communications. Starboard is owned by Walter Whetsell, an S.C. adviser to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Other highlights include nearly $4,000 spent on a staff retreat in Kiawah Island and $4,000 to a Cayce-based company that does political design, print, video and website work.

At the end of the September quarter, Haley had about $214,000 on hand for future expenses and her yet-to-be-announced re-election bid in 2014. Haley's 2010 campaign cost almost $4 million.

The quick fundraising clip is expected to continue.

Haley is scheduled to hold another fundraiser later this week during a trip to Washington, D.C., where she is scheduled to speak to the Heritage Foundation's 2011 President's Club.

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