Why Ivanka Trump Endorsed A College Junior Running For Student Government

Alexandra Beier/Getty Images News/Getty Images

For political candidates, an endorsement from a major name can sometimes have a sweeping impact on their race. That's why it's major news that the president's eldest daughter has recently thrown her name behind a candidate running for office. But this likely isn't the endorsement, or race, you were expecting. Ivanka Trump endorsed Nikki Haley's daughter in a student government race at a university in South Carolina.

"Hi Clemson fans, it's Ivanka Trump," the senior White House advisor said in a short clip posted to a Facebook page promoting a student government ticket featuring Haley's daughter, Rena Haley. "I am so proud of what each and every one of you are doing. Don't forget to reach for new heights by voting for Huskey Haley," she continued, hitting on Rena's campaign slogan, "reaching new heights."

The former U.N. ambassador's daughter is running for the position of student body vice president of Clemson University on a ticket featuring Collin Huskey as student body president. In a caption posted alongside Ivanka's endorsement, the pair said they were "so grateful to be receiving support from all across the nation."

But just how did the Clemson University students score such a high-profile endorsement? According to The Post and Courier, Ivanka is reportedly friends with Rena's mother, who, prior to her two-year stint as President Donald Trump's U.N. ambassador, served as the governor of South Carolina.

According to their campaign website, Rena is a junior nursing major who describes herself as "no stranger to a life of public service" and lists "keeping the promises that I make" as an activity she enjoys.

"I believe that there is a difference between merely having energy/talent, and putting that energy to good use," she wrote in her campaign bio. "Thus, I work each day not to just simply 'be,' but to be active; active in my schoolwork, active in my extracurriculars, active in my faith, and most certainly, active in the service of those around me here at Clemson University."

Huskey, her running mate, is a junior studying biological sciences. Together, their platform includes promises to advocate for "further awareness, education, and resources for the mental health of our students" as well as a commitment to sustainability through increasing campus recycling and kickstarting an initiative aimed at funding student sustainability projects. The duo also vow to try and bring concerts back to Clemson's campus, push for greater variation and choice in student dining, and allocate additional student social spaces.

Ivanka's endorsement for Rena comes more than four months after Haley announced plans to campaign for Trump in 2020. "For all of you who are going to ask about 2020, no, I am not running for 2020," The Washington Post reported Haley told reporters after announcing her resignation as U.N. ambassador during an Oval Office visit with Trump in October. "I can promise you what I'll be doing is campaigning for this one," she continued, gesturing to President Trump. "So, I look forward to supporting the president in the next election."