The state's Chamber of Commerce is urging its 18,000 members to re-elect incumbent Gov. Nikki Haley, who was expected to appear with business leaders in four cities today to announce the endorsement.

According to a news release from the chamber, the group is endorsing Haley because she "has demonstrated a deep commitment to job creation and economic development, making both her top priorities."

Four years ago, the chamber endorsed Democrat Vincent Sheheen, whom Haley meets in November in a rematch of their 2010 race.

Sheheen said in a release the chamber announcement isn't surprising and reflects a trend in chamber decision-making that favors big, out-of-state corporations at the expense of small businesses.

The chamber's news release praised Haley for her efforts on behalf of education reform, the port system, and tort reform, among other business-friendly initiatives.

"A product of a small business herself, Governor Nikki Haley understands what it means to run a business - what it means to make payroll, take care of employees, navigate onerous regulations and worry about health insurance costs. Governor Haley gets it," said Pamela Lackey, president of AT&T South Carolina and 2013-14 chair of the chamber.