Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Gov. Nikki Haley gave a special thank you to the man you've seen beside her at every Hurricane Matthew news conference helping to get her message out to the public.
Jason Hurdich is the interpreter who's been performing the sign language in those briefings. Haley called his work "extremely instrumental" in what the state has done.
People watching noticed his expressive style early on, and liked what they saw. He's been the subject of multiple news media profiles, and Haley acknowledged that's led to some unexpected popularity for him.
"Jason Hurdich has become a rock star, and I want to personally thank you for all that you've done," she said. "Not only do you have a major fan base, but you have made your South Carolinians very proud, and for that we are all grateful to you for your communication."
Hurdich then signed thank you back to her.
Hurdich, who himself is a member of the deaf community, has been working as an interpreter for 15 years. He actually has an interpreter of his own, who sits off-camera during the news conferences, then relays what Haley says back to him. Previous Coverage: Meet the Man Interpreting Haley's News Conferences
Experts say someone who is deaf can often interpret to the non-hearing better than someone who canhear, saying they often miss certain facial and body inflections that are necessary in non-verbal communication. They liken it to a native-speaker of a spoken language versus someone who has an accent.