Gov. Nikki Haley and two staffers attended a fundraiser Tuesday in Texas hosted by a national insurer licensed in the Palmetto State.
The evening event to raise money for Haley's gubernatorial campaign is the first of two out-of-state trips she will make this week. She will fly to Michigan on Friday for a Republican Leadership Conference.
Auto warranty insurer Ethos Group hosted the 6 p.m. event at its Irving, Texas, offices. Ethos Group has been licensed in South Carolina since November 2009, according to state records. An invitation suggests a contribution of $500 per person to attend the event.
Asked about Ethos Group's involvement in the fundraiser, Haley campaign aide Marisa Crawford said in a statement: "They, like many others across the country, like what we are doing in South Carolina with a pro-business climate. ... We appreciate their willingness to support the governor."
Crawford and the governor's chief of staff, Tim Pearson, also traveled to Texas, Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey said. They will return today and their expenses are being covered by campaign funds, he said.
Former S.C. Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman was expected to attend. Haley appointed Kitzman, a close friend, to head the S.C. Budget and Control Board in January. In July, Texas Gov. Rick Perry named Kitzman the new insurance commissioner there.
About a third of Haley's campaign donations collected before her election came from outside South Carolina -- more than three times the amount of out-of-state cash her Democratic challenger raised, an analysis showed.