COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's governor and Columbia's mayor missed this year's meeting of Palmetto Boys State and Palmetto Girls State.
The State newspaper reported that neither Gov. Nikki Haley nor Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin attended last week's weeklong meeting of nearly 1,500 top high school leaders.
The Rev. Sinclair Lewis is Anderson is secretary-treasurer of Boys State and says Haley's absence left a bad impression.
Gubernatorial spokesman Rob Godfrey says Haley was attending the opening of a $20 million plant in York County on Friday. Godfrey says the governor supports the youth program.
Benjamin was not available to welcome the students to Columbia after their meeting at colleges in the Upstate. Benjamin was at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Orlando, Fla.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)