Henry McMaster

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Henry McMaster
Henry McMaster 2017 crop.jpg
117th Governor of South Carolina
Assumed office
January 24, 2017
Lieutenant Kevin L. Bryant
Preceded by Nikki Haley
91st Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
In office
January 14, 2015 – January 24, 2017
Governor Nikki Haley
Preceded by Yancey McGill
Succeeded by Kevin L. Bryant
50th Attorney General of South Carolina
In office
January 15, 2003 – January 12, 2011
Governor Mark Sanford
Preceded by Charlie Condon
Succeeded by Alan Wilson
Chair of the South Carolina Republican Party
In office
May 1993 – May 2002
Preceded by Barry Wynn
Succeeded by Katon Dawson
United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina
In office
June 5, 1981[1] – July 1, 1985[2]
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Thomas Simpson[1]
Succeeded by Vinton D Lide[3]
Personal details
Born Henry Dargan McMaster
(1947-05-27) May 27, 1947 (age 70)
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Peggy Anderson (m. 1978)
Children 2
Residence Governor's Mansion
Education University of South Carolina, Columbia (BA, JD)
Website Government website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1969–1975
Unit United States Army Reserve

Henry Dargan McMaster (born May 27, 1947) is an American politician and attorney, who is the 117th and current Governor of South Carolina, in office since January 24, 2017. He previously served as the 91st Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina from 2015 to 2017, as well as Attorney General of South Carolina from 2003 to 2011. In 2011, McMaster was appointed to the South Carolina Ports Authority by Nikki Haley. He replaced Harry Butler Jr.[4] McMaster left the Ports Authority in 2015.[5] He was replaced by Kurt D. Grindstaff.[6] From 1981 to 1985, McMaster served as United States Attorney, where he was best known for investigating South Carolina marijuana smugglers in Operation Jackpot. McMaster served on the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and chaired the South Carolina Republican Party from 1993 to 2002.[7]

McMaster succeeded to the office of Governor of South Carolina when Nikki Haley resigned as governor to become the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.


McMaster was born on May 27, 1947 in Columbia, South Carolina.[8] He is the eldest son of John Gregg and Ida Dargan (Pet) McMaster. 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.[8]

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.[9]

Early political career

United States Attorney

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 was confirmed by the Senate on May 21, 1981.[10] He headed the South Carolina Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee from 1981 to 1985.

During his tenure, McMaster created the federal drug task force Operation Jackpot to investigate South Carolina marijuana smugglers.[11] Operation Jackpot ultimately arrested more than 100 men and women for crimes related to marijuana and hashish trafficking. McMaster held numerous press conferences during the trial and earned publicity through his many interviews and comments. His actions were criticized as transparently political, with journalist Lee Bandy writing that "no one can recall any other U.S. attorney being so public-relations conscious" and noting that McMaster had produced more press conferences and news releases than all of his predecessors combined.[12]

McMaster completed his four-year term as U.S. Attorney on December 31, 1985.

Election bids, South Carolina Commission on Higher Education

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.[citation needed]

South Carolina Republican Party Chair

On May 8, 1993, McMaster was elected chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party.[13] He 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).[citation needed] On March 28, 2002, McMaster announced his resignation as party chairman so that he run for Attorney General in 2002.[14]

Attorney General of South Carolina

Henry McMaster's official portrait, 2005

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.[15]

Campaign finance violation

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.[16] Documents released by the Ethics Commission state that McMaster accepted these extra funds to help in settling his campaign debt.[16][17] In September 2015, the Commission refused to dismiss the complaint and McMaster's attorney indicated McMaster was likely to settle.[18] In March 2016, the S.C. Ethics Commission ordered McMaster "to repay $72,700 in excess campaign contributions from his 2010 run for governor and pay a $5,100 fine."[19]

Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina (2015–2017)

McMaster filed to run for Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina on March 27, 2014.[20] He received 44% of the vote in a four-way Republican Party primary and was forced into a run-off against Mike Campbell, son of former Governor Carroll A. Campbell, Jr.[21] McMaster defeated Campbell, receiving 63.6% of the vote[22] and went on to face Democratic State Representative Bakari Sellers in the general election. During the campaign, Sellers challenged McMaster to renounce his 30-year membership in Columbia's Forest Lake Country Club, a private country club alleged to exclude black members; in response, McMaster's campaign manager stated that the Club "[had] no policies of racial discrimination," and added that McMaster "would not be a member if it did."[15][23][24] On November 4, 2014, McMaster was elected Lieutenant Governor, defeating Sellers with 58.8% of the vote.[25]

McMaster was elected on a separate ticket than Governor Haley, the last time Lieutenant Governors were elected in this manner. Beginning in 2018, Governors and Lieutenant Governors will run on the same ticket.[26]

During the 2016 presidential campaign, McMaster was an avid supporter of Donald Trump. McMaster claimed to be the first elected politician in the United States to support Trump. After Trump received the Republican nomination, McMaster delivered the nominating speech at the Republican National Convention.[27]

Governor of South Carolina (2017–present)

McMaster meeting with John F. Kelly, the United States Secretary of Homeland Security, in February 2017.

On November 23, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Governor Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the United Nations.[28] On January 24, 2017, Haley was confirmed by the Senate. Later that day, Haley resigned as South Carolina governor and McMaster assumed the governorship. Inaugurated at the age of 69 years and 8 months, McMaster is the oldest person ever to assume the office of governor in South Carolina.[29]

Currently, McMaster is serving the remainder of Governor Nikki Haley's second term, which expires in January 2019. Per the South Carolina constitution, McMaster is eligible to serve almost ten years as governor: two, four-year terms of his own plus the remainder of Haley's term. McMaster declared in September 2016 that he will be running in the 2018 election, although he has made no public statement about the election since his ascension to the office.[30]

Fiscal policies

McMaster speaking in February 2017

On February 6, 2017, McMaster's first major action as governor was requesting $5.18 billion from President Donald Trump for South Carolina's infrastructure, although Trump has made no public statement about McMaster's request. Additionally, later in February, McMaster announced, "[the] state government is going to have to go on a diet as far as spending." On May 9, 2017, McMaster vetoed a bill that would raise the state's gas tax by 12 cents—the largest tax increase in state history—although the South Carolina General Assembly overrode his veto the following day.[31][32]

Regarding the state's financial budget, McMaster stated that the state has "plenty of money in the system to do all the work on the roads if we would just apply it to the roads that need the work...It's not necessary to put yet another tax on the people of South Carolina."[33]

Gun ownership

McMaster has stated he would sign legislation, if passed by the General Assembly, that "would allow anyone who is legally allowed to buy a gun to do so without a state permit and carry it openly or concealed."[34] When students did a walkout to protest gun violence and to call for stricter gun control, a month after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, McMaster described the student walkout as "shameful" and said that it was a "tricky move" orchestrated by "left wing groups" which were using the students as "tools" to further their left wing agenda.[35] Student activist David Hogg, who survived the Parkland shooting, criticized McMaster, saying in a tweet that "future voters will not reelect you and outlive you too."[35]

Corruption investigation

In 2017, Governor McMaster—along with the University of South Carolina, BlueCross BlueShield, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, and a number of prominent SC legislators—was connected to Richard Quinn and Associates, a firm he employed for political consulting purposes.[36][37] Richard Quinn and Associates was named as part of a larger corruption probe within the South Carolina General Assembly conducted by Special Prosecutor David Pascoe, which first ensnared then-House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston, who resigned and pleaded guilty to public corruption charges in 2014.[38] While McMaster has not been implicated in Pascoe's corruption probe, four SC legislators have been indicted as part of Pascoe's corruption probe as of May 2017.[39]

McMaster’s connections to Richard Quinn and Associates caused him challenges in the South Carolina legislature when replacing two members of the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) Board of Directors whose terms had expired. At the time of McMaster's replacement's nominations, the SCPA paid Quinn a consulting fee of $8,100 per month.[40] State lawmakers delayed, for two weeks, the vote on Governor McMaster's two nominees for the SCPA Board of Directors, citing the ongoing corruption probe that has pulled in three Republican legislators.[41][42] Both nominees were confirmed after the SCPA voted to cease employing Quinn.[43][44] McMaster has likewise ceased to use Quinn in advance of his 2018 gubernatorial campaign.[45]

2018 gubernatorial election

In August 2017, McMaster declared his candidacy for Governor in the 2018 election. On October 16, 2017, President Donald Trump publicly endorsed McMaster, stating, "I'm so happy with the job he's done...he's doing some special job, but he does it with his heart." [46]

McMaster has also stated that he will not keep incumbent Lieutenant Governor Kevin L. Bryant on the ticket. Instead, he has chosen businesswoman Pamela Evette as his running mate.[47]

Personal life


McMaster and his wife own 12 houses and several rental apartments in the Columbia area of South Carolina. Reportedly, McMaster is renting many homes to students at the University of South Carolina; others he is renovating and reselling. One home under the McMaster's ownership includes the McCord House, which was constructed in 1849 and was used as a Union headquarters during the Civil War. Since 2012, the McMasters have received almost one hundred citations from the City of Columbia, ranging from violations involving trash roll carts to "care of premises." Between 1997 and 2002, the McMasters paid about $16,000 in ordinance citations.[48][49]

In 2016, McMaster's tax returns indicated that he received $7.7 million through rent on such houses and apartments between 2006 and 2015; he paid a little over $500,000 for upkeep, maintenance, and cleaning during that time.[50]

Love of dogs

McMaster is a noted dog lover. In 2005, McMaster was named National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the Humane Society of the United States, an organization which he has also served as a council member.[51][52] In March 2017 within months of becoming governor, McMaster's English bulldog, Boots, died at age 6 after a several months battle with lymphatic cancer.[53] In May, McMaster announced South Carolina had a new "first dog" as he and his wife had a new English bulldog, named Mac.[54]


1996, Order of the Palmetto
2004, Public Servant of the Year, Sierra Club
2005, National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Humane Society of the United States[52]

Electoral history

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


  1. ^ a b https://www.newspapers.com/image/344375493/?terms=Henry+McMaster+attorney
  2. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/70131567/?terms=Henry%2BMcMaster%2Battorney&match=2
  3. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/344554958/?terms=Henry+McMaster+attorney+Vinton+Lide
  4. ^ http://thetandd.com/news/haley-appoints-to-sc-ports-authority-board/article_912fcb8a-6484-11e0-8a48-001cc4c03286.html
  5. ^ https://www.scstatehouse.gov/man17/04_Gov.pdf
  6. ^ https://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess121_2015-2016/sj15/20150604.htm
  7. ^ "McMaster for Governor". Archived from the original on April 2, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "South Carolina Legislature Online – Member Biography: Lieutenant Governor Henry D. McMaster". www.scstatehouse.gov. South Carolina Legislative Services Agency. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Henry McMaster for Lieutenant Governor". henrymcmaster.com. 
  10. ^ Ryan, Jason (2012). Jackpot: High Times, High Seas, and the Sting That Launched the War on Drugs. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-7627-6799-1. 
  11. ^ Haire, Chris (April 20, 2011). "Jason Ryan spins the tale of the Lowcountry's gentlemen dope smugglers in Jackpot". Charleston City Paper. 
  12. ^ Ryan, Jason (2012). Jackpot: High Times, High Seas, and the Sting That Launched the War on Drugs. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 260. ISBN 978-0-7627-6799-1. 
  13. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/345696698/?terms=Henry%2BMcMaster%2Bsaturday&match=13
  14. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/search/#query=Henry+McMaster+Chairman&ymd=2002-03-29&p_place=SC
  15. ^ a b Shain, Andrew (October 26, 2014). "ELECTIONS 2014: Last race for SC lieutenant governor enters last week". The State. 
  16. ^ a b Borden, Jeremy (January 5, 2015). "New lieutenant governor faces campaign finance allegations from 2010 race". The Post and Courier. 
  17. ^ "McMaster accused of taking donations above the limit". The Greenville News. January 6, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Ethics board refuses to dismiss Lt. Gov. McMaster's case". WPDE-TV. September 16, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2016. 
  19. ^ Shain, Andrew (March 16, 2016). "SC Lt. Gov. McMaster ordered to repay $72,700 in campaign contributions". The State. 
  20. ^ Shain, Andrew (March 27, 2014). "Henry McMaster, another Nikki Haley ally, running for SC lieutenant governor". The State. 
  21. ^ Self, Jamie (June 24, 2014). "McMaster bests Campbell in GOP runoff for lieutenant governor". The Island Packet. 
  22. ^ "2014 Republican and Democratic Primary Runoff". South Carolina State Election Commission. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  23. ^ Borden, Jeremy; Roldan, Cynthia (September 3, 2014). "Sellers urges rival to quit club he says excludes blacks". The Post and Courier. 
  24. ^ "SC Lt. governor candidates spar over McMaster's club membership". 
  25. ^ "SC – Election Results". South Carolina State Election Commission. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  26. ^ "AP: Henry McMaster elected lieutenant governor". WCSC-TV. Associated Press. November 4, 2014. 
  27. ^ Levine, Daniel S. (November 23, 2016). "Henry McMaster: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  28. ^ Costa, Robert (November 23, 2016). "Gov. Nikki Haley tapped to be Trump's U.N. ambassador". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  29. ^ Long, Matt (January 24, 2017). "McMaster becomes South Carolina's 117th governor". South Carolina Radio Network. Learfield News & Ag, LLC. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  30. ^ Jackson, Gavin. "Would-be governors look to '18 Contenders already talking to voters, raising money". The Post and Courier. 
  31. ^ Brown, Andrew. "It's official: South Carolina has a new gas tax after S.C. House and Senate override Gov. McMaster's veto". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2017-05-31. 
  32. ^ "SC Gas Tax Increase Becomes Law After Senate Overrides Veto". WLTX-TV. Associated Press. May 10, 2017. 
  33. ^ Brown, Andrew. "S.C. Senate advances gas tax bill with supermajority vote, as McMaster promises veto". The Post and Courier. 
  34. ^ Prabhu, Maya T. "South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster supports bill that would grant carry of handguns without a permit". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2017-05-31. 
  35. ^ a b Noah Feit, The State, March 15, 2018, Greenville News, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster calls student walkout a 'shameful political statement', Retrieved March 15, 2018, "...The Republican criticized the event ... called it "shameful," ... orchestrated by a "left-wing group."...“This is a tricky move, I believe, by a left-wing group ... a political statement by a left-wing group and it’s shameful."
  36. ^ Shain, Andy. "Quinns fight back against South Carolina Statehouse corruption probe". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2017-05-31. 
  37. ^ Shain, Andy. "Statehouse corruption investigators seek information from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2017-05-31. 
  38. ^ "The 'Quinndom' and the power". The State. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  39. ^ "Indicted Rep. Rick Quinn once led House GOP, defended Confederate flag". The State. Retrieved 2017-05-31. 
  40. ^ Wren, David. "Gov. Henry McMaster wants to replace Ports board members who questioned payments to embattled political consultant Richard Quinn". The Post and Courier. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  41. ^ Brown, Andrew. "Corruption probe prompts South Carolina lawmakers to delay vote on Gov. McMaster's Ports Authority nominees". The Post and Courier. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  42. ^ Brown, Andrew. "Lawmakers advance South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster's ports board picks". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2017-05-31. 
  43. ^ Wren, David. "South Carolina Ports agency suspends payments to consultant Richard Quinn during Statehouse corruption probe". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2017-05-31. 
  44. ^ "Board of Directors". SC Ports Authority. Retrieved 2017-05-31. 
  45. ^ Shain, Andy. "South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster not using embattled political consultant Richard Quinn in 2018 race". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2017-05-31. 
  46. ^ http://www.postandcourier.com/politics/i-loved-our-henry-president-trump-stumps-for-south-carolina/article_10fa3cce-b2cb-11e7-9223-8b52c8cb8873.html
  47. ^ http://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/the-buzz/article186907638.html
  48. ^ Shain, Andy. "Henry McMaster's Columbia properties continue to collect code violations". Free Times. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  49. ^ Hutchins, Corey. "Henry McMaster: Slumlord Millionaire?". Free Times. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  50. ^ "What your landlord, the governor, paid to keep you comfy". The State. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  51. ^ "National Law Enforcement Council : The Humane Society of the United States". www.humanesociety.org. Retrieved 2017-05-31. 
  52. ^ a b "The Voter's Self Defense System". Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  53. ^ "McMaster mourns 'beloved' bulldog". The State. Retrieved 2017-05-31. 
  54. ^ Shain, Andy. "Meet Mac: South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster debuts new first dog". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2017-05-31. 

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Marshall Mays
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from South Carolina
(Class 3)

Succeeded by
Thomas F. Hartnett
Preceded by
Thomas F. Hartnett
Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Bob Peeler
Preceded by
Barry Wynn
Chair of the South Carolina Republican Party
Succeeded by
Katon Dawson
Preceded by
Charlie Condon
Republican nominee for Attorney General of South Carolina
2002, 2006
Succeeded by
Alan Wilson
Preceded by
Ken Ard
Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
Most recent
Legal offices
Preceded by
Thomas Simpson
United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Vinton D Lide
Preceded by
Charlie Condon
Attorney General of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Alan Wilson
Political offices
Preceded by
Yancey McGill
Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Kevin L. Bryant
Preceded by
Nikki Haley
Governor of South Carolina
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Pence
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within South Carolina
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise Paul Ryan
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Larry Hogan
as Governor of Maryland
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside South Carolina
Succeeded by
Chris Sununu
as Governor of New Hampshire
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Henry_McMaster&oldid=830611803"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_McMaster
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Henry McMaster"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA