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Ahead of the Republican Convention, Nikki Haley tells her delegates to vote for Trump

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a news conference suspending her presidential campaign on March 6 in Charleston, S.C.
Chris Carlson
/
AP
Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a news conference suspending her presidential campaign on March 6 in Charleston, S.C.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who unsuccessfully ran for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is releasing all 97 of her delegates and encouraging them to support former President Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee next week, a spokeswoman for Haley tells NPR.

Haley's encouragement to RNC delegates to back Trump was first reported by Politico. A spokeswoman for Haley says she will not attend the convention.

Spokeswoman Chaney Denton says Haley was “not invited, and she's fine with that. Trump deserves the convention he wants. She's made it clear she's voting for him and wishes him the best."

Haley was one of several Republican presidential primary rivals to Trump, and the last major candidate to withdraw from the GOP nominating contest.

She initially refused to throw her weight behind him, saying he’d have to earn her support.

Ultimately, Haley did say she would be voting for Trump during a speech at the Hudson Institute, a think tank she joined after dropping out of the race. In May, she pledged to vote for Trump, adding that she hoped he would "reach out to the millions of people" who voted for her in the GOP nominating contests.

Haley is now urging the 97 delegates she earned in this year's primaries and caucuses to back Trump in the official nomination proceedings. In a statement, Haley said the convention is a “time for unity,” and said President Biden is “not competent” to serve another term.

While Haley is "releasing" the delegates, they may not be required to vote for Trump and may still choose to vote for Haley or back another Republican. In some cases delegates are bound to a candidate until the convention, based on state party rules.

Copyright 2024 NPR

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Sarah McCammon
Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.