Washington, D.C. (WLTX, USA TODAY) -Gov. Nikki Haley has resigned her position, making Henry McMaster the new governor of South Carolina.
She signed the official paperwork moments after the full United States Senate confirmed her to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, meaning she'll soon be leaving the state to become the country's lead representative at the global organization.
Related Coverage: Henry McMaster Becomes Governor of South Carolina
The final vote was 96-4.Gov. Nikki Haley's nomination to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, meaning she'll soon be leaving the state to become the country's lead representative at the global organization.
Tweets from her staff showed Haley and her colleagues crowded around a computer monitor to see the vote as it took place. They clapped as soon as she reached the necessary 51 votes.
During her confirmation hearing last week, Haley was asked by members of the committee about her stance on Russia, in light of some favorable comments made by President Donald Trump about Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the ongoing debate about the country's attempt to influence the U.S. presidential election.
Haley, though, was unequivocal. "Russia is trying to show its muscle," she said. "We cannot trust them and need to continue to be cautious."
She also called the U.S. abstention last month on a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel's settlement activity, "a terrible mistake" because it allowed the measure to pass without an American veto. "I will never abstain when the the United Nations takes any actions to counter the interests and values of the United States," she said.
President Donald Trump nominated Haley to the post back in November, one of his first high-profile administration picks.
The move ends Haley's run as the leader of South Carolina, a position she's held since January of 2011. She's leaving office nearly two years early, becoming the first South Carolina governor to leave prior to the end of his or her term since Donald Russell in 1965.
It also continues an impressive rise in politics for Haley.
Haley was born in Bamberg, South Carolina, a small town about an hour and a half drive from Columbia, to parents who emigrated from India. Her dad had taken the family to America so he could take a teaching position.
It was not always an easy transition. Haley has often recalled her experience at the Wee Miss Bamberg pageant, where she and her sister were disqualified. "They pulled my parents aside and said they had a white queen and they had a black queen and they didn't want to upset either side by putting us in that category," she told USA TODAY in 2012.
Her mother started a women's clothing store, and by the age of 12, Haley was already helping to keep the books at the business. It must have been something she liked: after graduating high school, she went to Clemson University, where she earned a degree in accounting.
She then took on a series of business jobs, including at a waste management company and a return to her mom's business, which she helped grow.
Eventually her work took her to Lexington County, where she met her husband, Michael, a captain in the Army National Guard.
In 2004, Haley ran for a seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives. She defeated Larry Koon in the GOP primary, and won the seat outright in November. She became majority whip in the chamber.
Nearly five years later, in May of 2009, she announced she wanted something more: she was running for governor. Despite not having the statewide name recognition of some of the other candidates, she emerged from a crowded field to take the GOP nomination. (That group, oddly enough, included Henry McMaster, then man who will now succeed Haley as governor.) In the general election, she beat Democrat Vincent Sheheen to become both the state's first female and minority governor.
"My parents loved that when they came to America, if you worked hard, the only things that could stop you were the limits you place on yourself," she said.
The win made Haley a rising national star in the Republican Party, and her name began to be tossed around as a vice-presidential or presidential candidate in 2012. Ultimately, however, she remained on the job in South Carolina, and won re-election in 2014.
In her time as governor, Haley has argued for ethics reform and been a strong promoter of new job growth, and her staff dubbed her "the jobs governor."
In 2015, Haley would face several major tests, including the fatal police shooting of Walter Scott, the Charleston church massacre, and the historic floods that ravaged the state. Haley received high marks for her handling of each crisis, and once again, people began discussing her name for elevated offices on the national stage.
In January of this year, Haley was asked to deliver the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address. During the primary campaign, she at times had public disagreements with the tone of Trump's campaign and his rhetoric, but after he secured the nomination, she backed him and said that he would be the best person to lead the party.