Republican Nikki Haley has won the governor's election in South Carolina to become the state's next top leader, and the first female governor in the state's history.
Haley, a daughter of immigrants from India, is a fiscal conservative who won support from conservative crown-maker Sarah Palin and Tea Party activists.
Democratic rival Vincent Sheheen kept the race competitive as voters considered a successor for disgraced Gov. Mark Sanford.
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint easily won a second term after his rise in status as ab emerging leader for the Tea Party movement.