Governor of South Carolina
|South Carolina Governor|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2012-2013 FY Budget:||$1,910,705|
|Term limits:||Two consecutive terms|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||South Carolina Constitution, Article IV, Section I|
|Assumed office:||January 12, 2011|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014|
|Last election:||November 2, 2010|
|Other South Carolina Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Comptroller • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Adjutant General • Inspector General • Superintendent of Education • Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Commissioner • Labor Commissioner • Public Service Commission|
- 1 Current officer
- 2 Authority
- 3 Qualifications
- 4 Vacancies
- 5 Elections
- 6 Duties
- 7 Divisions
- 8 State budget
- 9 Compensation
- 10 Historical officeholders
- 11 History
- 12 Recent news
- 13 Contact information
- 14 See also
- 15 External links
- 16 References
As of May 2015, South Carolina is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Under Article IV, Section I:
The supreme executive authority of this State shall be vested in a Chief Magistrate, who shall be styled "The Governor of the State of South Carolina."
|2015 • 2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
|Current Lt. Governors|
|Lt. Governor Elections|
|2015 • 2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
A candidate for the governor must be:
- at least 30 years old
- a citizen of the United States
- a resident of South Carolina for at least five years
- believe in the existence of the "Supreme Being"
Additionally, the Governor may not hold office or a commission under any other power, excepting that of a militia.
- See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled
If a Governor-elect dies or declines to take office, the Lieutenant Governor-elect shall take office as the Governor and serve the full term. If the Governor-elect is temporarily unable to take the oath, the Lieutenant Governor-elect takes office as Acting Governor only until the Governor-elect is able to take the oath.
If both the Governor-elect and the Lieutenant Governor-elect are both unable to take office, the gubernatorial powers devolve through the line of succession, subject to the dual-office holding provision of the Constitution.
The Lieutenant Governor is Acting Governor and has the powers to act in an emergency in the event of the temporary absence or disability of the Governor. The Governor declares her temporary or permanent disability to discharge the office in writing to the President Pro Tem of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. In the case of a temporary disability, she also declares her ability to resume the office in the same manner.
If a majority of the officers serving as Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Comptroller General and the State Treasurer transmit, in writing, a declaration to the Senate President Pro Tem and the Speaker of the House, that the Governor is unfit the serve, the Lieutenant Governor shall immediately become the Acting Governor.
The Governor then may declare his declaration to the General Assembly that no such inability exists and will resume the office unless a majority of the members of the Assembly transmit their written declaration to the contrary to the President Pro Tem and the Senate. In that case, the Assembly has 21 days, excluding Sundays, to convene and vote on the issue, requiring a two-thirds vote to remove the Governor.
The Lieutenant Governor also becomes the Acting Governor in the event of the death, resignation, or removal of the Governor, and act as Governor during an impeachment until a judgment is rendered in the impeachment trial.
South Carolina elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not Presidential election years. For South Carolina, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the 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 are inaugural days.
If there is a tie, a joint session of the legislature shall cast ballots to choose the governor from the two highest vote-getters.
- See also: States with gubernatorial term limits
South Carolina governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait one term before being eligible to run again.
|No person shall be elected Governor for more than two successive terms.|
To view the electoral history dating back to 2002 for the office of Governor of South Carolina, Click [show] to expand the section.
Under the South Carolina Constitution, the Governor is also the head of government, serving as the chief executive of the South Carolina executive branch. The governor is the ex officio Commander-in-Chief of the state National Guard when not called into federal use and of the state's unorganized militia (§ 13).
The governor's responsibilities include making yearly "State of the State" addresses to the South Carolina General Assembly, submitting an executive state budget and ensuring that state laws are enforced (§ 15).
Other duties and privileges of the office include:
- Commuting death sentences to life imprisonment (§ 14); all other clemency matters are regulated by statute
- Requiring written reports from the officers of any agency or institute in the executive branch on any aspect of their duties (§ 17)
- Periodically addressing the General Assembly on the state of the state and making recommendations concerning legislation (§ 18)
- Convening special session of the legislation and, when the legislature is five days without a quorum, adjourning them (§ 19)
- Residing at the official Governor's Residence, the South Carolina Executive Mansion, except in cases of epidemic, natural disaster, or war (§ 20)
- Vetoing bills and joint resolutions, subject to a two-thirds legislative override (§ 21)
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 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.
Role in state budget
- See also: South Carolina state budget
- In July and August of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year, the governor sends budget instructions to state agencies.
- In September, agencies submit their budget requests to the governor.
- Budget hearings are held with state agencies in September and October.
- In January the governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature.
- Both the House and the Senate pass a budget. If these versions do not match, a conference committee consisting of both House and Senate members is assembled to reconcile the differences.
- The legislature must pass a budget with a simple majority by the beginning of the fiscal year, which is July 1. The governor may exercise line item veto power on the enacted budget.
The governor is constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget to the legislature. In turn, the legislature must pass a balanced budget, and any budget signed into law by the governor must be balanced.
A rainy day fund, the General Reserve Fund, must maintain a balance equaling three percent of General Fund revenue. Rainy day funds may be withdrawn only for the purpose of covering operating deficits.
Governor's office budget
The budget for the Governor's Office (Executive Control of State only) in Fiscal Year 2012-2013 was $1,910,705.
In 2013, the governor's salary remained at $106,078.
In 2010, the Governor of South Carolina was paid $106,078 a year, the 38th highest gubernatorial salary in America.
There have been 91 governors of South Carolina since 1776. Of the 91 officeholders, 56 were Democrats, 16 were Democratic-Republicans, 8 were Republican, 5 had no party affiliation, 5 were Federalists, and 1 was Conservative.
|List of Former Officeholders from 1776-Present|
|1||John Rutledge||1776 - 1778||No Party|
|2||Rawlins Lowndes||1778 - 1779||No Party|
|3||John Rutledge||1779 - 1782||No Party|
|4||John Mathews||1782 - 1783||No Party|
|5||Benjamin Guerard||1783 - 1785||No Party|
|6||William Moultrie||1785 - 1787||Federalist|
|7||Thomas Pinckney||1787 - 1789||Federalist|
|8||Charles Pinckney||1789 - 1792||Democratic-Republican|
|9||William Moultrie||1792 – 1794||Federalist|
|10||Arnoldus Vandershorst||1794 - 1796||Federalist|
|11||Charles Pinckney||1796 - 1798||Democratic-Republican|
|12||Edward Rutledge||1798 - 1800||Federalist|
|13||John Drayton||1800 - 1802||Democratic-Republican|
|14||James Burchill Richardson||1802 - 1804||Democratic-Republican|
|15||Paul Hamilton||1804 - 1806||Democratic-Republican|
|16||Charles Pinckney||1806 - 1808||Democratic-Republican|
|17||John Drayton||1808 - 1810||Democratic-Republican|
|18||Henry Middleton||1810 - 1812||Democratic-Republican|
|19||Joseph Alston||1812 - 1814||Democratic-Republican|
|20||David Rogerson Williams||1814 - 1816||Democratic-Republican|
|21||Andrew Pickens||1816 - 1818||Democratic-Republican|
|22||Geddes John||1818 - 1820||Democratic-Republican|
|23||Thomas Bennett||1820 - 1822||Democratic-Republican|
|24||John Lyde Wilson||1822 - 1824||Democratic-Republican|
|25||Richard Irvine Manning||1824 - 1826||Democratic-Republican|
|26||John Taylor||1826 - 1828||Democratic-Republican|
|27||Stephen Decatur Miller||1828 - 1830||Democratic|
|28||James Jr. Hamilton||1830 - 1832||Democratic|
|29||Robert Young Hayne||1832 - 1834||Democratic|
|30||George McDuffie||1834 - 1836||Democratic|
|31||Pierce Mason Butler||1836 - 1838||Democratic|
|32||Patrick Noble||1838 - 1840||Democratic|
|33||Barnabas Kelet Henagan||1840 - 1840||Democratic|
|34||John Peter Richardson II||1840 - 1842||Democratic|
|35||James Henry Hammond||1842 - 1844||Democratic|
|36||William Aiken||1844 - 1846||Democratic|
|37||David Johnson||1846 - 1848||Democratic|
|38||Whitemarsh Benjamin Seabrook||1848 - 1850||Democratic|
|39||John Hugh Means||1850 - 1852||Democratic|
|40||John Laurence Manning||1852 - 1854||Democratic|
|41||James Hopkins Adams||1854 - 1856||Democratic|
|42||Robert Francis Withers Allston||1856 - 1858||Democratic|
|43||William Henry Gist||1858 - 1860||Democratic|
|44||Francis Wilkinson Pickens||1860 - 1862||Democratic|
|45||Milledge Luke Bonham||1862 - 1864||Democratic|
|46||Andrew Gordon MacGrath||1864 - 1865||Democratic|
|47||Benjamin Franklin Perry||1865 - 1865||Democratic|
|48||James Lawrence Orr||1865 - 1868||Conservative|
|-||Edward R. S. Canby||1868 - 1868||-|
|49||Robert Kingston Scott||1868 - 1872||Republican|
|50||Franklin J. Moses||1872 - 1874||Republican|
|51||Daniel Henry Chamberlain||1874 - 1876||Republican|
|52||Wade Hampton III||1876 - 1879||Democratic|
|53||William Dunlap Simpson||1879 - 1880||Democratic|
|54||Thomas Bothwell Jeter||1880 - 1880||Democratic|
|55||Johnson Hagood||1880 - 1882||Democratic|
|56||Hugh Smith Thompson||1882 - 1886||Democratic|
|57||John Calhoun Sheppard||1886 - 1886||Democratic|
|58||John Peter Richardson||1886 - 1890||Democratic|
|59||Benjamin Ryan Tillman||1890 - 1894||Democratic|
|60||John Gary Evans||1894 - 1897||Democratic|
|61||William Haselden Ellerbe||1897 - 1899||Democratic|
|62||Miles Benjamin McSweeney||1899 - 1903||Democratic|
|63||Duncan Clinch Heyward||1903 - 1907||Democratic|
|64||Martin Frederick Ansel||1907 - 1911||Democratic|
|65||Coleman Livingston Blease||1911 - 1915||Democratic|
|66||Charles A. Smith||1915 - 1915||Democratic|
|67||Richard Irvine Manning III||1915 - 1919||Democratic|
|68||Robert Archer Cooper||1919 - 1922||Democratic|
|69||Wilson Godfrey Harvey||1922 - 1923||Democratic|
|70||Thomas Gordon McLeod||1923 - 1927||Democratic|
|71||John Gardiner Richards||1927 - 1931||Democratic|
|72||Ibra Charles Blackwood||1931 - 1935||Democratic|
|73||Olin De Witt Talmadge Johnston||1935 - 1939||Democratic|
|74||Burnet Rhett Maybank||1939 - 1941||Democratic|
|75||Joseph Emile Harley||1941 - 1942||Democratic|
|76||Richard Manning Jeffries||1942 - 1943||Democratic|
|77||Ransome Judson Williams||1945 - 1947||Democratic|
|78||James Strom Thurmond||1947 - 1951||Democratic|
|79||James Francis Byrnes||1951 - 1955||Democratic|
|80||George Bell Timmerman||1955 - 1959||Democratic|
|81||Ernest Frederick Hollings||1959 - 1963||Democratic|
|82||Donald Stuart Russell||1963 - 1965||Democratic|
|83||Robert Evander McNair||1965 - 1971||Democratic|
|84||John Carl West||1971 - 1975||Democratic|
|85||James Burrows Edwards||1975 - 1979||Republican|
|86||Richard Wilson Riley||1979 - 1987||Democratic|
|87||Carroll A. Campbell||1987 - 1995||Republican|
|88||David M. Beasley||1995 - 1999||Republican|
|89||Jim Hodges||1999 - 2003||Democratic|
|90||Mark Sanford||2003 - 2011||Republican|
|91||Nikki Haley||2011 – present||Republican|
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, in South Carolina there were Democratic governors in office for four years while there were Republican governors in office for 18 years, including the last 11. South Carolina is one of eight states that were run by a Republican governor for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. South Carolina was under Republican trifectas for the final 11 years of the study.
Across the country, there were 493 years of Democratic governors (44.82%) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27%) from 1992-2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
South Carolina was one of eight states to demonstrate a dramatic partisan shift in the 22 years studied. A dramatic shift was defined by a movement of 40 percent or more toward one party over the course of the study period. South Carolina was Republican-dominated during the years of the study but experienced a shift toward much stronger Republican control, resulting in Republican trifectas from 2003-2013.
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the South Carolina state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. South Carolina ranked in the bottom-10 during every year of the study except the most recent. In 2012 it improved, finishing at 38th. The state's worst ranking, finishing 47th, occurred during both divided government and Republican trifectas.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: N/A
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 44.30
- SQLI average with divided government: 45.00
This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term "South Carolina" + Governor
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Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12267
Columbia, SC 29211
- Office of the South Carolina Governor, " Governor's bio," accessed June 20, 2013
- Independent Mail, "South Carolina approves governor-lieutenant governor ticket," November 7, 2012
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- South Carolina Budget and Control Board, "State Budget - FAQ," accessed February 21, 2014
- South Carolina Budget and Control Board, "Current Budget Plans FY 2013-2014," accessed April 8, 2013
- Council of State Governments, "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries," June 25, 2013
- National Governors Association, " Former governors of South Carolina," accessed June 17, 2013
State of South Carolina
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Comptroller General | Treasurer | State Auditor | Superintendent of Education | Director of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Director of Natural Resources | Director of Labor, Licensing and Regulation | Chairman of Public Service Commission |