Thomas F. Hartnett

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Thomas F. Hartnett
Thomas Hartnett.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by Mendel J. Davis
Succeeded by Arthur Ravenel, Jr.
Member of the South Carolina Senate from the 16th District
In office
January 9, 1973 – January 3, 1981
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from Charleston County
In office
January 12, 1965 – January 9, 1973
Personal details
Born (1941-08-07) August 7, 1941 (age 73)
Charleston, South Carolina
Political party Republican

Thomas Forbes "Tommy" Hartnett (born August 7, 1941) was a U.S. Representative from South Carolina.

Hartnett was born in Charleston. He graduated from Bishop England High School in Charleston in 1960. He attended the College of Charleston from 1960 to 1961. He was in the United States Air Force Reserve from 1963 to 1969.

In 1964, Hartnett was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives from a Charleston-area district. He served four terms in that body. Originally a Democrat, he became a Republican in 1972, and attended that year's state Republican convention (and every convention after that until 1980). He was elected to the South Carolina Senate in 1972 and served two terms.

In 1980, Hartnett won the Republican nomination for the Charleston-based 1st District after five-term incumbent Mendel Jackson Davis retired due to back problems. He narrowly defeated his Democratic opponent, Associate Deputy Commerce Secretary Charles D. Ravenel, becoming the first Republican to win an undisputed election in the district since Reconstruction. Hartnett likely owed his win to Ronald Reagan winning Charleston County with 55 percent of the vote. The district had also been trending Republican for some time at the national level; it has only supported the official Democratic candidate for president once since 1956.

Hartnett was convincingly reelected in 1982, and took 61 percent of the vote in 1984. He gave up his seat in 1986 to run for Lieutenant Governor, narrowly losing to State Senator Nick Theodore. He then became a successful real estate agent, founding Hartnett Realty in his home of Mount Pleasant.

Hartnett came out of retirement in 1992 to run for the United States Senate against four-term incumbent and fellow Charleston resident Ernest Hollings. He gave Hollings his closest race ever, losing by only three percentage points in what was otherwise a very good year for Democrats nationally.

Hartnett still lives in Mount Pleasant as president of Hartnett Realty. He was a delegate to every Republican National Convention from 1980 to 2000.


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mendel J. Davis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 1st congressional district

January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1987
Succeeded by
Arthur Ravenel, Jr.