Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina

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Lieutenant Governor of
South Carolina
Seal of the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina.svg
Kevin L. Bryant.jpg
Kevin L. Bryant

since January 25, 2017
Style His Honor
Term length Four years, no limit
Inaugural holder Thomas Broughton (1730)
Formation Board of Trade
Salary $46,545 (2016) [1]

The Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina is the second-in-command to the Governor of South Carolina. The lieutenant governor serves as the president of the South Carolina Senate and ascends to the office of governor should it become vacant. The office of lieutenant governor is a part-time position and is currently occupied by Kevin L. Bryant since January 25, 2017, who is not seeking re-election in 2018.

Roles and responsibilities

The office of Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina is considered a part-time position. The chief responsibility of the lieutenant governor is to serve as the president of the South Carolina Senate. The lieutenant governor presides over the Senate but has no vote unless the Senate is equally divided.

Additionally, the lieutenant governor acts as governor in the case that the governor is temporarily unable to fulfill his or her duties. And if the governor is no longer able to serve as governor, the lieutenant governor ascends to the office of governor. The most recent historical example of such ascension was on January 24, 2017 when incumbent Governor Nikki Haley resigned to become the United States Ambassador to the United Nations; Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster immediately became governor.

The remaining duties of the lieutenant governor are mostly ceremonial; he or she will introduce the governor, speak at public events, etc.

Election and qualifications

Until 2018, the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina was elected independently of the Governor of South Carolina. A constitutional amendment in 2012, however, requires that the governor and lieutenant governor run on the same ticket beginning in the November 2018 election.[2]

The lieutenant governor's term is the same as the governor's. Although, the office of lieutenant governor has no term limits whereas the office of governor requires that no individual serves more than two consecutive terms. The lieutenant governor must also meet the eligibility requirement as the office of governor.[3]

Oath of office

Before the lieutenant governor-elect fulfills any duties of the office, he or she is constitutionally required to take an oath of office:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am duly qualified, according to the Constitution of this State, to exercise the duties of the office to which I have been elected, (or appointed), and that I will, to the best of my ability, discharge the duties thereof, and preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of this State and of the United States. So help me God." [4]


Should the lieutenant governor leave office early by impeachment, death, resignation, disability, or disqualification, the President Pro Tempore of South Carolina will immediately become lieutenant governor.[5] The most recent historical example of such a vacancy in office was when Lt. Governor Glenn F. McConnell resigned to become the president of the College of Charleston on June 18, 2014. The Senate elected Democrat Yancey McGill as lieutenant governor, who served until the term expired.[6]


As a part-time position, the lieutenant governor receives a salary of $46,545, the lowest salary of any elected statewide office in South Carolina.[7]

Current lieutenant governor

The current lieutenant governor of South Carolina is Kevin L. Bryant since January 25, 2017. Bryant became lieutenant governor after Governor Haley resigned, Lieutenant Governor McMaster became governor, and President Pro Tempore of the South Carolina Senate Hugh Leatherman resigned. Bryant was elected as President Pro Tempore, which, according to the laws of succession, immediately made him lieutenant governor. Bryant is not campaigning to remain lieutenant governor in the 2018 election.[8]

2018 constitutional amendments

Beginning in 2018, the person elected to the office of lieutenant governor will no longer serve as the president of the Senate and must be elected on the same ticket as the governor of the state.[9] Additionally, in the case of the lieutenant governor's vacancy, the governor will appoint, with the advise and consent of the Senate, a new lieutenant governor.

See also


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