Henry McMaster

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Henry McMaster
Henry McMaster official photo.jpg
91st Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
Assumed office
January 14, 2015
Governor Nikki Haley
Preceded by Yancey McGill
Attorney General of South Carolina
In office
January 15, 2003 – January 12, 2011
Governor Mark Sanford
Preceded by Charlie Condon
Succeeded by Alan Wilson
Chairperson of the South Carolina Republican Party
In office
May 1994 – May 2001
Preceded by Barry Wynn
Succeeded by Katon Dawson
Personal details
Born Henry Dargan McMaster
(1947-05-27) May 27, 1947 (age 69)
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of South Carolina, Columbia
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army Reserves
Years of service 1969–1975
Battles/wars Vietnam War

Henry Dargan McMaster (born May 27, 1947) is an American politician who is the 91st and current Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina. He assumed office on January 14, 2015. He previously served as Attorney General of South Carolina from 2003 to 2011.

Biography[edit]

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. 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. He served in the United States Army Reserves, receiving his honorable discharge in 1975. 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.[1]

Political career[edit]

Upon the recommendation of Senator Thurmond, McMaster was nominated by President Ronald 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 to 1985. He completed his four-year term as U.S. Attorney in 1985. During this term, he created federal drug task force Operation Jackpot 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 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).

In 2002 McMaster ran for and was elected Attorney General. He was reelected unopposed in 2006. In 2010 he ran for Governor, but was defeated in the Republican primary, finishing third. He immediately endorsed frontrunner and eventual winner Nikki Haley.

On November 4, 2014 McMaster was elected Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, defeating Democratic State Representative Bakari Sellers with 60% of the vote. McMaster was elected on a different ticket than Governor Haley, the last time Lieutenant Governors will be elected in this manner. Beginning in 2018, Governors and Lieutenant Governors will run on the same ticket.[2]

Criticisms[edit]

On January 6, 2015, the Ethics Commission of South Carolina accused McMaster of accepting about $70,000 in campaign donations when he unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2010, which exceeds South Carolina's legal limit for donations by $51,850.[3] Documents released by the Ethics Commission state that McMaster accepted these extra funds to help in settling his campaign debt.[4][3] In September 2015, the Commission refused to dismiss the complaint and McMaster's attorney indicated McMaster was likely to settle.[5]

Electoral history[edit]

South Carolina Attorney General Republican Primary Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Henry McMaster 126,164 42.41
Republican Larry Richter 94,573 31.79
Republican Jon Ozmint 76,725 26.06
South Carolina Attorney General Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Henry McMaster 162,014 55.81
Republican Larry Richter 128,271 44.19
South Carolina Attorney General Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Henry McMaster 601,931 55.48
Democratic Steve Benjamin 482,560 44.48
Write-ins Write-ins 498 0.05
South Carolina Attorney General Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Henry McMaster (inc.) 779,453 99.22
Write-ins Write-ins 6,107 0.78
South Carolina Governor Republican Primary Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Nikki Haley 206,326 48.86
Republican Gresham Barrett 91,824 21.75
Republican Henry McMaster 71,494 16.93
Republican Andre Bauer 52,607 12.46
South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Henry McMaster 131,546 43.63
Republican Pat McKinney 73,451 24.36
Republican Mike Campbell 72,204 23.95
Republican Ray Moore 24,335 8.07
South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Henry McMaster 85,301 63.58
Republican Mike Campbell 48,863 36.42
South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Henry McMaster 726,821 58.75
Democratic Bakari Sellers 508,807 41.13
Write-ins Write-ins 1,514 0.12

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Henry McMaster for Lieutenant Governor". henrymcmaster.com. 
  2. ^ "AP: Henry McMaster elected lieutenant governor". live5news.com. 4 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "New lieutenant governor faces campaign finance allegations from 2010 race". Post and Courier. 
  4. ^ "McMaster accused of taking donations above the limit". The Greenville News. 6 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Ethics board refuses to dismiss Lt. Gov. McMaster's case". WPDE. 16 September 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2016. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Barry Wynn
Chairperson of the South Carolina Republican Party
1994–2001
Succeeded by
Katon Dawson
Legal offices
Preceded by
Charlie Condon
Attorney General of South Carolina
2003–2011
Succeeded by
Alan Wilson
Political offices
Preceded by
Yancey McGill
Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
2015–present
Incumbent