[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/24/art.nikki.haley.youtube.jpg caption ="South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley is holding her primary night party Tuesday at an exclusive, members-only venue called the Capital City Club in downtown Columbia."]Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) - Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul took heat from Democrats for hosting his primary night victory celebration at a country club – perhaps not the most fitting venue for an anti-establishment candidate fueled by the Tea Party movement.
South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, herself a Tea Party-backed Republican, is also holding her primary night party Tuesday at an exclusive, members-only venue – the Capital City Club in downtown Columbia.
The "Cap City Club," as some locals call it, is a gathering place for roughly 1,300 of the city's movers and shakers that sits on the top floor of the Capitol Center, the tallest building in South Carolina, just across the street from the State House.
The club's website boasts of décor that is "traditional with rich colors and textures, wood accents, plush rugs and crystal chandeliers.
"The House Committee has made the selection and collection of fine art a top priority," the website reads. "The prestigious decor, excellent cuisine, and finest service create an atmosphere of elegance unparalleled in the Columbia area."
Membership in the club is "by invitation at the discretion of The Board of Governors."
Haley campaign manager Tim Pearson told CNN that Haley and her husband Michael once belonged to the club, but are no longer members.
"A supporter is a member, and that's how we got access to the club," Pearson told CNN.
The tower itself became an issue in the 1986 gubernatorial campaign after then-Gov. Dick Riley, a Democrat, leased space in the new building for government offices, thereby raising the cost of state office space.
GOP hopeful Carroll Campbell – who went on to win the governor's race and become a towering figure among South Carolina Republicans – called the tower a monument to "the good ole boy" system of patronage of government spending.