Governor’s business in Grand Strand, Pee Dee dwindled over years

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The WMBF News investigative team filed a request with Governor Nikki Haley's office for all of her official business in her time as governor. Her chief legal counsel responded with a letter saying the governor's office doesn't possess a travel log for her. We were prompted to use a weekly email Haley's office sends out to come up with the schedule ourselves.

All items that specifically mentioned the State House or didn't list a location were removed.

Governor Haley's office started keeping record of her travel on February 22, 2011, soon after she took office. We compiled records up until the week after Hurricane Matthew hit the South Carolina coast.

Richland County tops the list for the most business.

Horry County is sixth with 38 items of business, Florence is at 21, Darlington and Marion at ten each and Dillon and Marlboro have three apiece.

If the business is compared directly to population, there are two counties that aren't in the top five for population, but are in Haley's top five for most official business, Beaufort and Lexington.

Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, Hilton Head Island and North Charleston are the South Carolina cities Governor Haley has visited most.

In a breakdown of purposes of visit and business, 72 items on her agenda were visits to schools or functions directly related to K-12 education. Three were in Florence and three were in Marion. None were to an Horry County School.

Haley is a champion of South Carolina's economy, and her travel log shows it.

Of the 1,238 records analyzed, 193 were for economic development. Only six were in the five counties with ten percent unemployment or higher: Allendale, Bamberg, Marion, Marlboro and Orangeburg counties.

One out of every five of her economic development events were in the three counties with five percent unemployment or lower: Charleston, Greenville and Lexington.

As governor, Nikki Haley has been to 23 states. Florida tops that list for most visits. She has been to six countries: Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan and Sweden.

One out of five of her trips out of the state are to Washington, D.C. Governor Haley has spent 30 days in our nation's capital.

The data leaves one question unanswered as for as the six South Carolina counties we cover are concerned. Why did Governor Haley's trips to the Grand Strand and Pee Dee tail off later in her time in office?

The governor's office says Haley is the first governor in South Carolina to release a weekly schedule. Those releases vary in detail as to what she was doing and where she was doing it. The amount of business logged has also changed year after year.

Below, view a detailed table showing all of Gov. Haley's recorded visits for weeks that were available:

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