||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2010)|
|Attorney General of South Carolina|
January 15, 2003 – January 12, 2011
|Preceded by||Charlie Condon|
|Succeeded by||Alan Wilson|
|Chairperson of the South Carolina Republican Party|
May 1994 – May 2001
|Preceded by||Barry Wynn|
|Succeeded by||Katon Dawson|
|Born||Henry Dargan McMaster
May 27, 1947
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of South Carolina, Columbia (B.A., J.D.)|
Henry Dargan McMaster (born May 27, 1947) is an American politician who served as Attorney General of South Carolina from 2003 to 2011. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the GOP nomination in the 2010 South Carolina gubernatorial election.
McMaster was born in Columbia, South Carolina. He received a bachelor's degree in history from the University of South Carolina in 1969. As an undergraduate, he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order and the South Carolina Student Legislature. After graduation, he served in the United States Army Reserves, receiving his honorable discharge in 1975. In 1973, he graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law where he served on the Editorial Board of the South Carolina Law Review. Later that year, he was admitted to the South Carolina Bar, the Richland County Bar Association.
Upon graduation from law school, McMaster worked as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond in Washington, D.C. until 1974, when he joined the firm of Tompkins and McMaster. He was admitted to practice before the federal Court of Claims in 1974, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 1975 and in 1978, upon motion of Senator Thurmond, the Supreme Court of the United States.
For almost 29 years, McMaster practiced law, both as a federal prosecutor and in private practice, having represented clients in the state and federal courts, trial and appellate.
Upon the recommendation of Senator Thurmond, McMaster was nominated by President Ronald W. Reagan as United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina in 1981—Reagan's first nomination for U.S. Attorney. McMaster headed the South Carolina Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee from 1981-1985. He completed his four-year term as U.S. Attorney in 1985. During this term, he created federal drug task force Operation Jackpot (drug investigation) to investigate South Carolina marijuana smugglers. Operation Jackpot ultimately arrested more than 100 men and women for crimes related to marijuana trafficking.
In 1986, after considering races for South Carolina Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, McMaster won a spirited primary for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate. He was defeated by incumbent Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings. In 1990, he won another contested primary and was the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, losing to incumbent Nick Theodore. In 1991, he was appointed by Governor Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. and confirmed by the South Carolina Senate to serve on the state's Commission on Higher Education. He also served on the Board of Directors of the non-profit South Carolina Policy Council from 1991 through 2003, serving as board chairman from 1992 until 1993.
In 1993, McMaster was elected chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, and was subsequently re-elected by the State Republican Convention in 1996, 1998 and 2000. In this capacity, he also served as a member of the Republican National Committee from 1993 until 2002. Under McMaster's chairmanship, the Republican Party captured the Governorship, several statewide offices and (with party switches) the State House of Representatives in 1994, and finally captured control of the powerful State Senate in 2000. Under McMaster, the South Carolina GOP also ran highly contentious and successful presidential primaries in 1996 (won by Bob Dole) and 2000 (won by George W. Bush).
- Official Website of Henry McMaster
- Attorney General of South Carolina
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (state office) at the National Institute for Money in State Politics
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
|Party political offices|
|Chairperson of the South Carolina Republican Party
|Attorney General of South Carolina