Thomas Ravenel

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Thomas Ravenel
Treasurer of South Carolina
In office
January 10, 2007 – July 24, 2007
Governor Mark Sanford
Preceded by Grady Patterson
Succeeded by Converse Chellis
Personal details
Born (1962-08-11) August 11, 1962 (age 54)
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
Political party Independent (Formerly Republican)
Spouse(s) Mary Katy Ryan 1996-1998
Domestic partner Kathryn Dennis (2013-2015)
Children 2
Alma mater The Citadel
University of South Carolina, Columbia

Thomas Ravenel (born August 11, 1962) is a politician and former State Treasurer. He is the son of former South Carolina Congressman Arthur Ravenel, Jr.

He currently stars on the Bravo reality series Southern Charm and was an Independent candidate for the United States Senate in the 2014 election in South Carolina. He is also a member of the French Huguenot Church in Charleston.[1]


Prior to running for office, Ravenel founded the Ravenel Development Corporation, a commercial real estate company.[1]

Ravenel ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, seeking the seat left open when Fritz Hollings retired. He came in third in the Republican primary election. After Ravenel endorsed Republican Jim DeMint, DeMint went on to win the Republican runoff and the general election.[2] Subsequently, Ravenel was fined over $19,000 by the Federal Election Commission for improperly filing the required forms for the election.[3] Ravenel ran for South Carolina Treasurer in 2006, defeating 9-term state treasurer Democrat Grady Patterson in the 2006 general election.[4] Ravenel endorsed Ron Paul in the 2012 Republican primaries.[5]

Ravenel is currently a part of the cast of Bravo's Southern Charm.[6] Ravenel lives at Brookland Plantation, an estate he purchased in 2006.[7]


Ravenel graduated from The Citadel in Charleston, receiving his B.S. in 1985. He later received his M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina[8] in 1991. His M.B.A. studies were focused on finance and real estate.

Federal drug charges[edit]

In June 2007, Ravenel was indicted on federal cocaine distribution charges by US Attorney Reginald Lloyd.[9] The filed charges allege that Ravenel purchased less than 500 grams of cocaine through an intermediary in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2005, prior to his election as treasurer but after his abortive entry in the 2004 Senate race.

Governor Mark Sanford suspended Ravenel from his duties as state treasurer upon learning of the charges, and appointed Columbia attorney Ken Wingate to replace Ravenel on an interim basis. Meanwhile, Ravenel decided to enter a rehabilitation facility, according to prosecutors.[10]

Ravenel had been volunteering for the Rudolph Giuliani presidential campaign, serving as his South Carolina state chairman. Ravenel resigned from that post after the indictment, according to Giuliani campaign officials. The campaign subsequently replaced Ravenel with Barry Winn, who was co-chair of South Carolina finance committee.[11]

On July 24, Ravenel resigned as Treasurer.[12] The South Carolina General Assembly elected state Rep. Converse Chellis to serve out the remainder of his term.[13][14]

Ravenel underwent a rehabilitation program in Arizona, and then returned to plead guilty to "conspiring to buy and distribute less than 100 grams of cocaine" in September 2007.[15][16]


On Friday, March 4, 2008, Thomas Ravenel was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for drug charges against him, but was not immediately ordered to report to begin his sentence.[17]

2014 campaign for U.S. Senate[edit]

On Monday, July 14, 2014, Thomas Ravenel submitted more than 17,000 signatures, officially placing him on the ballot as an independent candidate against incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham. He finished in third place, garnering 3.9% of the vote.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Ravenel was married to Mary Ryan for two years. They divorced in 1998. He and his on again- off again girlfriend, Kathryn Dennis, have two children, a girl and a boy.[19]


  1. ^ a b "Ravenel Development Corporation - Thomas Ravenel". Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  2. ^ "White House Hopeful Rudy Giuliani's South Carolina Campaign Chairman Indicted on Cocaine Charges — Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Political Spectrum". 2007-06-19. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  3. ^ S.C. Politics Today Archived February 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "South Carolina state elections, 2006: Information and Much More from". Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  5. ^ "Thomas Ravenel Endorses Ron Paul". Fitsnews. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  6. ^ "Bravo Media Marches Into Spring with Five New and Returning Series". The Futon Critic. January 14, 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  7. ^ Kropf, Schuyler (May 18, 2010). "Ravenel recounts accident". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  8. ^ [1] Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ [2] Archived July 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ [3][dead link]
  11. ^ " | Star-News | Wilmington, NC". Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  12. ^ "CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Former Giuliani state co-chair resigns from office « - Blogs from". 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  13. ^ [4][dead link]
  14. ^ "WLTX-TV News, Weather, Sports for Columbia and the Midlands of South Carolina". 2007-08-03. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  15. ^ "News - Charleston, SC". Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  16. ^ [5][dead link]
  17. ^ Jack Kuenzie. "WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina | Former SC Treasurer sentenced to 10 months". Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  18. ^ "Thomas Ravenel cites personal problems, late start in US Senate". 4 November 2014. 
  19. ^ Southern Charm's Kathryn Dennis Gives Birth to a Baby Boy November 10, 2015

Political offices
Preceded by
Grady Patterson
Treasurer of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Converse Chellis