SC Legislative Update 

By Ben Homeyer


Election update:

South Carolina held their elections on Tuesday November 8th.  All Constitutional officers were on the ballot as well as all House Members.  

Henry McMaster defeated Joe Cunningham for Governor.  McMaster received 58% of the vote.  McMaster and Pam Evette will serve four more years.  If McMaster finishes his term, he will be the longest serving governor in SC History.

Ellen Weaver defeated Lisa Ellis for Superintendent of education.  Weaver received 55% of the vote

All the remaining incumbent constitutional officers won their races.  

Alan Wilson – Attorney General – 97%

Curtis Loftis – Treasurer – 80%

Richard Eckstrom – Comptroller – 98%

Mark Hammond – Secretary of State – 63%

Hugh Weathers – Commissioner of Agriculture – 77%

All the incumbent Congressional members who won their primaries also run their General Election

District 1 – Nancy Mace – 56%

District 2 – Joe Wilson – 60%

District 3 – Jeff Duncan – 98%

District 4 – William Timmons – 91%

District 5 – Ralph Norman – 64%

District 6 – James Clyburn – 62%

District 7 – Russell Fry – 65% – defeated incumbent in primary

 Tim Scott was elected to the US Senate with 63%

The incumbent 2021-22 General Assembly was 81-43 Republican (65% GOP). The Senate, which will be on the ballot in 2024, is 30-16 (also 65% GOP).  The House has added five more republicans in contested races in 2023 bringing their numbers up to 88 and democrats holding 36 seats.  In total 26 new house members will be at the Statehouse this year.

 The contested races which saw a flipped seat are: Districts, 12, 64, 75, 116, 117, and 122

 All the new members are listed below.  

April Cromer – R April Cromer 6 Anderson
Thomas Beach – R Thomas Beach 10 Anderson, Greenville, Pickens
Brian Lawson – R Brian Lawson 30 Cherokee and York
Robert Harris – R Robert Harris 36 Greenville and Spartanburg
Joe White – R Joe White 40 Newberry
Heath Session – R Heath Session 46 York
Cody Mitchell – R Cody Mitchell 65 Kershaw, Darlington
Brandon Cox – R Brandon Cox 92 Berkely
Gary Brewer – R Michelle Brandt – D Gary Brewer 114 CHARLESTON,DORCHESTER Seat held by Lin Bennett – R, who was defeated in the primary.
Ben Connell – R Eve Carlin – D Ben Connell 52 KERSHAW Seat held by Vic Dabney – R, who was defeated in the primary.
Kirkman Finlay – R* Heather Bauer – D Heather Bauer 75 RICHLAND
Kimberly Johnson – D* Fawn Pedalino – R Fawn Pedalino 64 CLARENDON,SUMTER
Krystle Matthews – D* Jordan Pace – R Jordan Pace 117 BERKELEY
Chardale Murray – D* Matthew Leber – R Matthew Leber 116 CHARLESTON,COLLETON
Wendell Jones – D Tony Boyce – I Jack Logan – L Yvonne Julian – R Wendell Jones 25 GREENVILLE Open Seat: Leola Robinson – D, Retiring
Val Guest – R Ryan Thompson – D Val Guest 106 HORRY Open Seat: Russell Fry – R, Running for Congress
Mike Neese – R Katie Crosby – D Aaron McKinney – I Mike Neese 44 LANCASTER NEW DISTRICT
Jay Kilmartin – R John Davis – L Jay Kilmartin 85 LEXINGTON Open Seat: Chip Huggins – R, Retiring
Jackie Todd – A Don Chapman – R Ernest Mackins – D Don Chapman 8 ANDERSON OPEN SEAT: Jonathon Hill – R, Retiring
Ellis Roberts – D Thomas Hartnett – R Thomas Hartnett 110 CHARLESTON Open Seat: William Cogswell – R, Retiring
Kathy Landing – R Donna Newton – D Kathy Landing 80 CHARLESTON NEW DISTRICT
Carla Litrenta – D David O’Neal – R David O’Neal 66 YORK NEW DISTRICT
Carla Shuessler – R Ashlyn Preaux – D Carla Shuessler 61 FLORENCE,HORRY NEW DISTRICT
Brandon Guffey – R Andrew Russell – D Brandon Guffey 48 YORK Open Seat: Bruce Bryant – R, Retiring
Anne Parks – D* Daniel Gibson – R Daniel Gibson 12 GREENWOOD,MCCORMICK
Shedron Williams – D* Bill Hager – R Bill Hager 122 BEAUFORT,COLLETON,HAMPTON,JASPER


So what does all this mean:  The S.C. House will trend much more conservative, especially when we look at several of the primary results in the Upstate where more moderate Republicans were beaten by challenges from the right. With 36 members, and 16 senior Democrats already serving on Ways and Means and the Judiciary committees (which they wouldn’t give up, ever), there will be only 4-5 Democrats on the remaining committees. Since David Wilkins took over as Speaker in 1994, the Medical, Municipal, and Military Affairs Committee (commonly called the 3M Committee) has always been held by Democrats. Now, there probably won’t be enough Democrats left in the House to hold that committee unless Speaker Smith packs all of the Democrats there… which might mean virtually no Democratic representation on Education & Public Works and Agriculture & Natural Resources. And five of the Democrats ON the 3M committee lost their elections to Republicans. 

The Democrats in the House will face major uphill odds now since they won’t have enough members to stop cloture votes or really get in the way of anything. The Democratic leaders will have to lean on their relationships with the more moderate, pragmatic GOP leadership to influence legislation.

On Thursday November 10th CRMCA participated in the SCFOR meeting.  We heard from SCDOT as well as legislators on the state of the road system and projects going forward for 2023 and beyond.  CRMCA also met with DOT officials about the potential BABA changes coming later this month and in to the new year.  We also had a discussion with local governments to discuss the state of the mining act and its potential to be opened and how that could affect the industry.