- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Latest on South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley being confirmed as ambassador to the United Nations (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

Republican Henry McMaster has been sworn in as the 91st governor of South Carolina, after Nikki Haley resigned as the state’s CEO to become United Nations ambassador.

McMaster was sworn in Tuesday, less than an hour after Haley was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and submitted her resignation as governor.

McMaster’s move leaves a vacancy in the lieutenant governor’s office. While the state constitution calls for the Senate’s leader to fill the role, Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman has refused to leave the Senate to take the largely ceremonial position.

Leatherman resigned his leadership post Tuesday afternoon.

The Senate must elect a new president pro tem, who would then immediately be sworn in as lieutenant governor. That’s expected to be Republican Sen. Kevin Bryant of Anderson.

___

6:20 p.m.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has resigned as the state’s CEO to become U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Haley turned in her resignation letter Tuesday minutes after the U.S. Senate confirmed her as President Donald Trump’s Cabinet pick. That makes Republican Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster the 91st governor of South Carolina.

The state’s first female and first minority governor resigns with two years remaining in her second term.

Under the state constitution, McMaster immediately ascends to the job. His official swearing-in ceremony will be held later.

The 69-year-old McMaster has been a close ally of Haley’s since losing to her in the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary.

Legislators of both parties say they are eager for McMaster to take over. They believe his governing style will be congenial rather than combative.

___

5:35 p.m.

South Carolina Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman has resigned his powerful leadership post to avoid becoming lieutenant governor.

Leatherman resigned Tuesday minutes before U.S. senators began voting to confirm Gov. Nikki Haley. Leatherman has refused to leave the Senate to take the largely ceremonial position.

Instead, once Haley resigns as governor, Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster will become the 91st governor of South Carolina.

___

5 a.m.

Gov. Nikki Haley’s confirmation process as President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations continues in the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee meets Tuesday to consider Trump’s pick to the Cabinet position.

If the committee approves, the vote advances to the full Senate.

Haley appeared before the committee last Wednesday for nearly three-and-a-half hours.

If confirmed, Haley will resign as South Carolina’s governor with two years remaining in her term. Under the state constitution, her resignation would immediately make Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster the state’s 91st governor.

Haley said goodbye to South Carolinians in her State of the State address earlier this month and called the governor’s job “the greatest honor of my life.”

McMaster was the nation’s first statewide officeholder to back Trump.


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