Mark Hammond (American politician)

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Mark Hammond
41st Secretary of State of South Carolina
Assumed office
January 15, 2003
Governor Mark Sanford
Nikki Haley
Henry McMaster
Preceded by Jim Miles
Clerk of Courts of Spartanburg County
In office
1997–2003
Preceded by Ken Huckaby
Succeeded by Marc Kitchens
Personal details
Born (1963-11-29) November 29, 1963 (age 53)
Lancaster, South Carolina, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education Newberry College (BA)
Clemson University (MA)

Mark Hammond (born November 29, 1963), is an American Republican politician from South Carolina. He has served as South Carolina Secretary of State since January 15, 2003.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Mark Hammond was born in Lancaster, South Carolina, and grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Following graduation from Dorman High School in Spartanburg, he attended Newberry College, graduating with a B.A. in political science in 1986.[1] Two years later, he earned an M.A. in education from Clemson University.[1] He began his professional career as a juvenile probation officer for the South Carolina Department of Youth Services. From 1990 to 1996, he served as a criminal investigator for the Spartanburg County, South Carolina-based 7th Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office. In 1996, he was elected as Clerk of Courts for Spartanburg County, and was the first Republican to serve in that post since Reconstruction. Hammond succeeded Democrat Ken Huckaby, who had served four terms since 1977.[2] He was elected to a second term in 2000.

Secretary of State[edit]

In 2002, he was elected as South Carolina's 41st Secretary of State, after defeating two other candidates in the Republican primary, and winning over 600,000 votes in the general election.[1] He was sworn in on January 15, 2003.[3] Governor Mark Sanford appointed Marc Kitchens to succeed Hammond in the Spartanburg County clerk of courts office.[4]

In addition to his duties as Secretary of State, he also serves as Co-Chairman of International Relations Committee on Business Services.[5]

He was re-elected in 2006, winning 61% of the vote, which at the time was the largest margin of victory in a contested statewide election in South Carolina history.[1]

In 2010, Hammond defeated his opponent, Democrat Majorie Johnson with 60.9% of the vote.[6]

In 2014, Hammond ran for reelection against Democrat Ginny Deerin whose campaign received a Republican endorsement from former South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford.[7] She was also endorsed by the South Carolina Club for Growth, a conservative political organization that usually supports Republicans. She was the first ever Democrat running for statewide office to have been endorsed by them.[8] Both Jenny Sanford and former South Carolina Club for Growth President Chad Walldorf served on the Board of Directors of WINGS for Kids, the nonprofit organization founded by Deerin.[9] Deerin had made deregulating nonprofits a central theme of her campaign,[10] which contrasted with Hammond's tough record of charities enforcement.[11][12] Hammond won reelection with 59.5% of the vote.[13]

Electoral history[edit]

South Carolina Secretary of State Republican Primary Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Hammond 110,761 38.87
Republican Ed McMullen 96,451 33.84
Republican Lois Eargle 77,769 27.29
South Carolina Secretary of State Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Hammond 151,942 54.75
Republican Ed McMullen 125,567 45.25
South Carolina Secretary of State Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Hammond 610,799 56.84
Democratic Rick Wade 463,501 43.13
Write-ins Write-ins 291 0.03
South Carolina Secretary of State Republican Primary Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Hammond (inc.) 125,016 58.76
Republican Bill McKown 87,744 41.24
South Carolina Secretary of State Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Hammond (inc.) 656,661 61.24
Democratic Cheryl Footman 415,211 38.72
Write-ins Write-ins 473 0.04
South Carolina Secretary of State Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Hammond (inc.) 805,783 60.91
Democratic Marjorie Johnson 516,414 39.04
Write-ins Write-ins 638 0.05
South Carolina Secretary of State Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Hammond (inc.) 730,739 59.51
Democratic Ginny Deerin 496,344 40.42
Write-ins Write-ins 788 0.06

References[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Jim Miles
Secretary of State of South Carolina
2003–present
Incumbent