Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina

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South Carolina Lieutenant Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012-2013 FY Budget:  $39,250,109
Term limits:  Two terms
Length of term:   Four years
Authority:  South Carolina Constitution, Article IV, Section VIII
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Henry Mcmaster.jpg
Name:  Henry McMaster
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 14, 2015
Compensation:  $46,545
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other South Carolina Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateComptrollerAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorAdjutant GeneralInspector GeneralSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Lieutenant Governor of the State of South Carolina is an elected constitutional officer, the second ranking officer of the Executive branch, and the first officer in line to succeed the Governor of South Carolina. The lieutenant governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms.

Beginning in 2018, the lieutenant governor will be elected on a joint ticket with the governor. The change is the result of a ballot measure passed by voters in 2012.[1] Read more about the background to this ballot measure and the succession debate that led to it at: The dreaded promotion: South Carolina's lieutenant governorship.

Current officer

See also: Current Lieutenant Governors

The current officeholder is Henry McMaster, a Republican first elected in 2014. He was sworn in as lieutenant governor on January 14, 2015, for a four-year term in office.[2]


The state Constitution addresses the office of the lieutenant governor in Article IV, the Executive Department.

Under Article IV, Section VIII:

A Lieutenant Governor shall be chosen at the same time, in the same manner, continue in office for the same period, and be possessed of the same qualifications as the Governor.


Current Governors
Gubernatorial Elections
Current Lt. Governors
Lt. Governor Elections
Breaking news

Section 2 of Article IV of the South Carolina Constitution lays out the qualifications for governor and lieutenant governor.

A candidate for the lieutenant governor must be:

  • at least 30 years old
  • a citizen of the United States
  • a resident of South Carolina for at least five years

Additionally, the lieutenant governor may not hold office or a commission under any other power, excepting that of a militia.


Under Article IV, Sections VI and XI, the lieutenant governor replaces the governor almost any time the latter is unable to discharge the office:

Section VI:

If the Governor-elect dies or declines to serve, the Lieutenant Governor-elect shall become Governor for a full term. If the Governor-elect fails to take the oath of office at the commencement of his term, the Lieutenant Governor shall act as Governor until the oath is administered.

Section XI:

In the case of the removal of the Governor from office by impeachment, death, resignation, disqualification, disability, or removal from the State, the Lieutenant Governor shall be Governor. In case the Governor be impeached, the Lieutenant Governor shall act in his stead and have his powers until judgment in the case shall have been pronounced. In the case of the temporary disability of the Governor and in the event of the temporary absence of the Governor from the State, the Lieutenant Governor shall have full authority to act in an emergency.

If the lieutenant governor is also unable to serve the legally set-up line of succession is employed and the full powers of the governor devolve upon whoever takes the office.

Additionally, each South Carolina State Senate elects a Senate President Pro Tem each times it convenes, an officer who fills in for the lieutenant governor's senatorial duties as needed.


South Carolina state government organizational chart
See also: Gubernatorial election cycles by state
See also: Election of lieutenant governors

South Carolina elects lieutenant governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years. For South Carolina, 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 are all lieutenant gubernatorial election years. Legally, the lieutenant gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the first Wednesday following the second Tuesday in the January following an election. Thus, January 12, 2011, and January 14, 2015, were inaugural days.

If there is a tie, a joint session of the legislature shall cast ballots to choose the lieutenant governor from the two highest vote getters.

Change to joint ticket

See also: The dreaded promotion: South Carolina's lieutenant governorship

Beginning in 2018, the governor and lieutenant governor will be elected on a joint ticket. The change is the result of a ballot measure passed by voters in 2012.[1]

While some, including former Gov. Mark Sanford, long supported moving to the joint ticket, it was the resignation of former Lt. Gov. Ken Ard (R) that brought the issue to the forefront. Following Ard's resignation due to ethics violations, Glenn McConnell, as Senate President Pro Tempore, ascended to the position. As President Pro Tempore McConnell was the state's most powerful legislator, the position of lieutenant governor, however, is a relatively weak one. As such, McConnell initially considered stepping down as President in order to avoid becoming lieutenant governor, but eventually accepted the new role, saying he could not go against the South Carolina Constitution.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

Under the new changes, the governor will appoint a new lieutenant governor in the event of a vacancy, which would have allowed McConnell and MCGill to retain their seats.[1]

Full history


See also: South Carolina Lieutenant Gubernatorial election, 2014

Republican Henry McMaster won election on November 4, 2014.

Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngHenry McMaster 58.8% 726,821
     Democratic Bakari Sellers 41.1% 508,807
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 1,514
Total Votes 1,237,142
Election Results via South Carolina State Election Commission.


The lieutenant governor is South Carolina's second highest constitutional officer. Under the South Carolina Constitution, the lieutenant governor serves as the president of the South Carolina Senate and assumes the position of governor if for any reason the governor is unable to perform the duties of that office.

As president of the Senate, the lieutenant governor is the presiding officer and is often called upon to make significant rulings which affect the outcome of senate votes and debates. Legally, the lieutenant governor only has a vote in the Senate when the chamber's members are evenly divided.

Due to the passage of a ballot measure in 2012, this role will no longer exist in 2018. Instead the chamber will elect a president pro tempore.[3]


Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for information that describes the divisions (if any exist) of a state executive office. That information for the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

State budget

See also: South Carolina state budget and finances

The budget for the lieutenant governor's office in Fiscal Year 2012-2013 was $39,250,109.[4]


See also: Comparison of lieutenant gubernatorial salaries and Compensation of state executive officers

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: SC Code § 1-1-1210 (2013)

The lieutenant governor is entitled to receive annual compensation, paid bi-monthly, in accordance with Title 1, Chapter 1, Section 1210 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.[5] Pursuant to Article IV, Section 16 of the South Carolina Constitution, the lieutenant governor's salary shall not be increased or diminished effective during his elected term.


In 2014, the lieutenant governor received a salary of $46,545, according to the Council of State Governments.[6]


In 2013, the lieutenant governor was paid an estimated $46,545. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[7]


As of 2010, the lieutenant governor was paid $100,000 a year, the 19th highest lieutenant gubernatorial salary in America.

Historical officeholders

List of Former Officeholders from 1730-Present[8]
# Name Tenure Party
1 Thomas Broughton 1730-1737
2 William Bull 1738-1755
3 William Bull II 1755-1756
4 Henry Laurens 1776-1777
5 James Parson 1777-1779
6 Thomas Bee 1779-1780
7 Christopher Gadsden 1780-1782
8 Richard Hutson 1782-1783
9 Richard Beresford 1783-1783
10 William Moultrie 1784-1785
11 Charles Drayton 1785-1787
12 Thomas Gadsen 1787-1789
13 Isaac Holmes 1791-1792
14 James Ladson 1792-1794
15 Lewis Morris 1794-1796
16 Robert Anderson 1796-1798
17 John Drayton 1798-1800
18 Richard Winn 1800-1802
19 Ezekiel Pickens 1802-1804
20 Thomas Sumter, Jr. 1804-1806
21 John Hopkins 1806-1808
22 Frederick Nance 1808-1810
23 Samuel Farrow 1810-1812
24 Eldred Simkins 1812-1814
25 Robert Creswell 1814-1816
26 John A. Cuthbert 1816-1818
27 William Youngblood 1818-1820
28 William C. Pinckney 1820-1822
29 Henry Bradley 1822-1824
30 William A. Bull 1824-1826
31 James H. Witherspoon 1826-1828
32 Thomas Williams 1828-1830
33 Patrick Noble 1830-1832
34 Charles Cotesworth Pinckney 1832-1834
35 Whitemarch B. Seabrook 1834-1836
36 William DuBose 1836-1838
37 B.K. Henagan 1838-1840
38 W. K. Clowney 1840-1842
39 Isaac Donnom Witherspoon 1842-1844
40 J. F. Ervin 1844-1846
41 William Cain 1846-1848
42 William H. Gist 1848-1850
43 Joshua John Ward 1850-1852
44 James H. Irby 1852-1854
45 Richard Detreville 1854-1856
46 Gabriel Cannon 1856-1858
47 M. E. Carn 1858-1860
48 W. W. Harllee 1860-1862
49 Plowden C. J. Weston 1862-1864
50 Robert G. McCaw 1864-1865
51 W. D. Porter 1865-1868
52 Lemuel Boozer 1868-1870
53 A. J. Ransier 1870-1872
54 R. Howell Gleaves 1872-1874
55 R. H. Gleaves 1874-1876
56 W. D. Simpson 1876-1879
57 John D. Kennedy 1880-1882
58 John C. Sheppard 1882-1886
59 William L. Mauldin 1886-1890
60 Eugene B. Gary 1890-1893
61 W. H. Timmerman 1893-1897
62 M. B. McSweeney 1897-1899
63 Robert B. Scarborough 1899-1901
64 James H. Tillman 1901-1903
65 J. T. Sloan 1903-1907
66 Thomas G. McLeod 1907-1911
67 Charles A. Smith 1911-1915
68 Andrew J. Bethea 1915-1919
69 J. T. Liles 1919-1921
70 Wilson G. Harvey 1921-1923
71 E. B. Jackson 1923-1927
72 Thomas Bothwell Butler 1927-1931
73 James O. Sheppard 1931-1935
74 J. E. Harley 1935-1941
75 Ransome J. Williams 1943-1945
76 George Bell Tummerman Jr. 1947-1955
77 Ernest F. Hollings 1955-1959
78 Burnett R. Maybank Jr. 1959-1963
79 Robert E. McNair 1963-1965
80 John C. West 1967-1971
81 Earle E. Morris Jr. 1971-1975
82 W. Brantley Harvey Jr. 1975-1979
83 Nancy Stevenson 1979-1983
84 Michael R. Daniel 1983-1987
85 Nick A. Theodore 1987-1995
86 Robert Lee Peeler 1995-2003
87 Andre Bauer 2003-2011
88 Ken Ard 2011-2012
89 Glenn McConnell 2012-2014 Republican Party
90 John McGill 2014-2015 Democratic Party
91 Henry McMaster 2015-present Republican Party

Recent news

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Contact information

State House, 1st Floor
P.O. Box 142
Columbia, South Carolina 29202

See also

Additional reading

External links

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