The GOP nominee seeking to become South Carolina's first female governor said Thursday she won't sign a pledge to put more women on boards and in charge of state agencies.
The nonpartisan Southeastern Institute for Women in Politics, which works to narrow South Carolina's political gender gap, has asked GOP Rep. Nikki Haley and Democratic Sen. Vincent Sheheen to agree that, if elected, they'll use their appointments to increase gender diversity.
South Carolina consistently trails the nation in women in government leadership positions, with none in Congress or statewide office.
"It goes without saying that Nikki loves the idea of getting more women involved in public service," said Haley campaign spokesman Rob Godfrey. "That said, Nikki is not going to make any pledges in reference to appointments, other than this one - she will always choose the highest qualified person for the job without regard to race or gender."
Sheheen, however, will attend the initiative's launch next week and sign the pledge, said campaign spokesman Trav Robertson.