List of governors of South Carolina

The current governor of South Carolina is Henry McMaster who has been in office since January 24, 2017. South Carolina governors are counted only once; therefore, Joseph West, for instance, a colonial governor who served three non-consecutive terms, is considered the second governor of South Carolina, not the second, fourth, and seventh.

Governor of South Carolina
Seal of the Governor of South Carolina.png
SC Governor Henry McMaster 2019 (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Henry McMaster

since January 24, 2017
StyleHis Excellency
Term lengthFour years, renewable once consecutively

Colonial period (1670–1775)Edit

Statehood period (1776–present)Edit

Presidents under the Articles of ConfederationEdit

The General Assembly chose the president for a term of two years.

Parties

  No party (2)

# President Took office Left office Vice president Party Notes
31   John Rutledge March 26, 1776 March 5, 1778 Henry Laurens No party 1st time, Resigned[a]
32   Rawlins Lowndes March 6, 1778 January 9, 1779 James Parsons No party British prisoner
during Revolutionary War

Governors under the Articles of ConfederationEdit

The General Assembly chose the governor for a term of two years.

Parties

  Independent (4)   Federalist (2)

Governors of the State of South Carolina (1779 to 1792)
No. Governor Party Term in office Time in office Lieutenant Governor Notes
-   John Rutledge Independent January 9, 1779

January 31, 1782

(Term limited)

3 years Thomas Bee 2nd time
Christopher Gadsden
33   John Mathews Independent January 31, 1782

February 4, 1783

(Not a candidate for reelection)

1 year Richard Hutson
34   Benjamin Guerard Independent February 4, 1783

February 11, 1785

(Not a candidate for reelection)

2 years Richard Beresford
Vacant
William Moultrie
35   William Moultrie Independent February 11, 1785

February 20, 1787

(Not a candidate for reelection)

2 years Charles Drayton 1st time
36     Thomas Pinckney Federalist February 20, 1787

January 26, 1789

(Not a candidate for reelection)

2 years   Thomas Gadsden
37     Charles Pinckney Federalist January 26, 1789

December 5, 1792

(Term limited)

4 years   Alexander Gillon 1st time

Governors under the Constitution of 1790Edit

The General Assembly chose the governor for a term of two years.

Parties

  Federalist (3)   Democratic-Republican (15)   Nullifier (Democratic) (3)   Democratic (17)   Unionist Democrat (1)

Governors of the State of South Carolina (1790 to 1865)
No. Governor Party Term in office Time in office Lieutenant Governor Notes
-     William Moultrie Federalist December 5, 1792

December 17, 1794

(Term limited)

2 years   James Ladson 2nd time
38     Arnoldus Vanderhorst Federalist December 17, 1794

December 8, 1796

(Term limited)

2 years   Lewis Morris
-     Charles Pinckney Democratic-Republican December 8, 1796

December 18, 1798

(Term limited)

2 years   Robert Anderson 2nd time
39     Edward Rutledge Federalist December 18, 1798

January 23, 1800

(Died)

1 year   John Drayton
40     John Drayton Democratic-Republican January 23, 1800

December 8, 1802

(Term limited)

3 years Vacant 1st time
  Richard Winn
41     James Burchill Richardson Democratic-Republican December 8, 1802

December 7, 1804

(Term limited)

2 years   Ezekiel Pickens
42     Paul Hamilton Democratic-Republican December 7, 1804

December 9, 1806

(Term limited)

2 years   Thomas Sumter, Jr.
-     Charles Pinckney Democratic-Republican December 9, 1806

December 10, 1808

(Term limited)

2 years   John Hopkins 3rd time
-     John Drayton Democratic-Republican December 10, 1808

December 8, 1810

(Term limited)

2 years   Frederick Nance 2nd time
43     Henry Middleton Democratic-Republican December 8, 1810

December 10, 1812

(Term limited)

2 years   Samuel Farrow
44     Joseph Alston Democratic-Republican December 10, 1812

December 10, 1814

(Term limited)

2 years   Eldred Simkins
45     David Rogerson Williams Democratic-Republican December 10, 1814

December 5, 1816

(Term limited)

2 years   Robert Creswell
46     Andrew Pickens Democratic-Republican December 5, 1816

December 8, 1818

(Term limited)

2 years   John A. Cuthbert
47     John Geddes Democratic-Republican December 8, 1818

December 7, 1820

(Term limited)

2 years   William Youngblood
48     Thomas Bennett, Jr. Democratic-Republican December 7, 1820

December 7, 1822

(Term limited)

2 years   William Pinckney
49     John Lyde Wilson Democratic-Republican December 7, 1822

December 3, 1824

(Term limited)

2 years   Henry Bradley
50     Richard Irvine Manning I Democratic-Republican December 3, 1824

December 9, 1826

(Term limited)

2 years   William Bull
51     John Taylor Democratic-Republican December 9, 1826

December 6, 1828

(Term limited)

2 years   James Witherspoon
52     Stephen Decatur Miller Nullifier (Democratic) December 6, 1828

December 9, 1830

(Term limited)

2 years   Thomas Williams
53     James Hamilton, Jr. Nullifier (Democratic) December 9, 1830

December 10, 1832

(Term limited)

2 years   Patrick Noble
54     Robert Young Hayne Nullifier (Democratic) December 10, 1832

December 9, 1834

(Term limited)

2 years   Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
55     George McDuffie Democratic December 9, 1834

December 10, 1836

(Term limited)

2 years   Whitemarsh Benjamin Seabrook
56     Pierce Mason Butler Democratic December 10, 1836

December 7, 1838

(Term limited)

2 years   William DuBose
57     Patrick Noble Democratic December 7, 1838

April 7, 1840

(Died)

1.5 years   Barnabas Kelet Henagan
58     Barnabas Kelet Henagan Democratic April 7, 1840

December 9, 1840

(Not a candidate for election)

8 months Vacant Not elected
59     John Peter Richardson II Democratic December 9, 1840

December 8, 1842

(Term limited)

2 years   William K. Clowney
60     James Henry Hammond Democratic December 8, 1842

December 7, 1844

(Term limited)

2 years   Isaac D. Witherspoon
61     William Aiken, Jr. Democratic December 7, 1844

December 8, 1846

(Term limited)

2 years   J.F. Ervin
62     David Johnson Democratic December 8, 1846

December 12, 1848

(Term limited)

2 years   William Cain
63     Whitemarsh B. Seabrook Democratic December 12, 1848

December 13, 1850

(Term limited)

2 years   William Henry Gist
64     John Hugh Means Democratic December 13, 1850

December 9, 1852

(Term limited)

2 years   Joshua John Ward
65     John Lawrence Manning Democratic December 9, 1852

December 11, 1854

(Term limited)

2 years   James Irby
66     James Hopkins Adams Democratic December 11, 1854

December 9, 1856

(Term limited)

2 years   Richard de Treville
67     Robert F.W. Allston Democratic December 9, 1856

December 10, 1858

(Term limited)

2 years   Gabriel Cannon
68     William Henry Gist Democratic December 10, 1858

December 14, 1860

(Term limited)

2 years   M. E. Carn
69     Francis Wilkinson Pickens Confederate Democrat December 14, 1860

December 17, 1862

(Term limited)

2 years   W.W. Harllee
70     Milledge Luke Bonham Confederate Democrat December 17, 1862

December 18, 1864

(Term limited)

2 years   Plowden Weston

(Died)

Vacant
71     Andrew Gordon Magrath Confederate Democrat December 18, 1864

May 25, 1865

(Overthrown)

6 months   Robert McCaw Imprisoned by the Union Army
- Second Military District (Military Government) May 25, 1865

June 30, 1865
- State government dissolved
72     Benjamin Franklin Perry Unionist Democrat June 30, 1865

November 29, 1865

(Served until state government reestablished)

5 months Office of Lieutenant Governor temporarily abolished Not elected; appointed by President Andrew Johnson

Post-Civil War Governors through the presentEdit

Governors are elected at-large

  • 2-year term, renewable once: 1868-1927
  • 4-year term, not renewable consecutively: 1927-1982
  • 4-year term, renewable once consecutively: 1982–present
Parties

  Democratic (35)   Republican (9)   No party (1)

Governors of the State of South Carolina (1865 to present)
No. Governor Party Term in office[b] Time in Office Election Lieutenant Governor Notes
73   James Lawrence Orr No Party November 26, 1865

July 6, 1868

(Not candidate for election)

2.5 years 1865 W.D. Porter First popularly elected governor
74     Robert Kingston Scott Republican July 6, 1868

December 7, 1872

(Term limited)

4.5 years 1868   Lemuel Boozer
1870 Alonzo J. Ransier
75     Franklin J. Moses, Jr. Republican December 7, 1872

December 1, 1874

(Lost renomination)

2 years 1872   Richard Howell Gleaves
76     Daniel Henry Chamberlain Republican December 1, 1874

December 14, 1876

(Lost reelection)

2 years 1874 Lost reelection in 1876 election, but refused to leave office
- Disputed December 14, 1876

April 11, 1877
- Disputed between Chamberlain and Wade Hampton III.

Two governments were formed during this time.

77     Wade Hampton III Democratic April 11, 1877

September 26, 1879

(Resigned)[c]

2.5 years 1876   William Dunlap Simpson Declared sole governor four months after taking office
1878
78     William Dunlap Simpson Democratic February 26, 1879

September 1, 1880

(Resigned)[d]

1.5 years   Vacant Not elected
79     Thomas Bothwell Jeter Democratic September 1, 1880

November 30, 1880

(Not a candidate for election)

3 months Not elected
80     Johnson Hagood Democratic November 30, 1880

December 1, 1882

(Not a candidate for reelection)

2 years 1880   John D. Kennedy
81     Hugh Smith Thompson Democratic December 1, 1882

July 10, 1886

(Resigned)[e]

3.5 years 1882   John Calhoun Sheppard
1884
82     John Calhoun Sheppard Democratic July 10, 1886

November 30, 1886

(Not a candidate for election)

5 months Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
  Vacant Not elected
83     John Peter Richardson III Democratic November 30, 1886

December 4, 1890

(Term limited)

4 years 1886   William Mauldin
1888
84     Benjamin Ryan Tillman Democratic December 4, 1890

December 4, 1894

(Term limited)

4 years 1890   Eugene Gary
1892   Washington Hodges Timmerman
85     John Gary Evans Democratic December 4, 1894

January 18, 1897

(Not a candidate for reelection)

2 years 1894
86     William Haselden Ellerbe Democratic January 18, 1897

June 2, 1899

(Died)

2.5 years 1896   Miles Benjamin McSweeney
1898
87     Miles Benjamin McSweeney Democratic June 2, 1899

January 20, 1903

(Not a candidate for reelection)

3.5 years Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
  Robert B. Scarborough
1900
88     Duncan Clinch Heyward Democratic January 20, 1903

January 15, 1907

(Term limited)

4 years 1902   James Tillman
1904 John Sloan
89     Martin Frederick Ansel Democratic January 15, 1907

January 17, 1911

(Term limited)

4 years 1906   Thomas Gordon McLeod
1908
90     Coleman Livingston Blease Democratic January 17, 1911

January 14, 1915

(Resigned)[f]

4 years 1910   Charles Aurelius Smith
1912
91     Charles Aurelius Smith Democratic January 14, 1915

January 19, 1915

(Not a candidate for election)

5 days Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
  Vacant Shortest term

Not elected

92     Richard Irvine Manning III Democratic January 19, 1915

January 21, 1919

(Term limited)

4 years 1914   Andrew Bethea
1916
93     Robert Archer Cooper Democratic January 21, 1919

May 20, 1922

(Resigned)[g]

3.25 years 1918   J.T. Lyles
1920 Wilson Godfrey Harvey
94     Wilson Godfrey Harvey Democratic May 20, 1922

January 16, 1923

(Not a candidate for election)

1.75 years Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
  Vacant Not elected
95     Thomas Gordon McLeod Democratic January 16, 1923

January 18, 1927

(Term limited)

4 years 1922   E.B. Jackson
1924
96     John Gardiner Richards, Jr. Democratic January 18, 1927

January 20, 1931

(Term limited)

4 years 1926   Thomas Bothwell Butler First elected to four-year term[h]
97     Ibra Charles Blackwood Democratic January 20, 1931

January 15, 1935

(Term limited)

4 years 1930   James Sheppard
98     Olin D. Johnston Democratic January 15, 1935

January 17, 1939

(Term limited)

4 years 1934   Joseph Emile Harley 1st time
99     Burnet R. Maybank Democratic January 17, 1939

November 4, 1941

(Resigned)[i]

2.5 years 1938  
100     Joseph Emile Harley Democratic November 4, 1941

February 27, 1942

(Died)

4 months   Vacant Not elected
Vacant February 27, 1942

March 2, 1942
-
101     Richard Manning Jefferies Democratic March 2, 1942

January 19, 1943

(Not a candidate for election)

8 months Not elected
98     Olin D. Johnston Democratic January 19, 1943

January 2, 1945

(Resigned)[j]

2 years

(6 years total)

1942   Ransome Judson Williams 2nd time
102     Ransome Judson Williams Democratic January 2, 1945

January 21, 1947

(Not a candidate for election)

2 years Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
  Vacant Not elected
103     Strom Thurmond Democratic January 21, 1947

January 16, 1951

(Term limited)

4 years 1946   George Bell Timmerman, Jr.
104     James Francis Byrnes Democratic January 16, 1951

January 18, 1955

(Term limited)

4 years 1950  
105     George Bell Timmerman, Jr. Democratic January 18, 1955

January 15, 1959

(Term limited)

4 years 1954   Ernest F. Hollings
106     Ernest F. Hollings Democratic January 20, 1959

January 15, 1963

(Term limited)

4 years 1958   Burnet R. Maybank Jr.
107     Donald Stuart Russell Democratic January 15, 1963

April 22, 1965

(Resigned)[k]

1.5 years 1962   Robert Evander McNair
108     Robert Evander McNair Democratic April 22, 1965

January 19, 1971

(Term limited)

5.5 years Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
  Vacant
1966   John C. West
109     John C. West Democratic January 19, 1971

January 21, 1975

(Term limited)

4 years 1970   Earle Morris, Jr.
110     James B. Edwards Republican January 21, 1975

January 10, 1979

(Term limited)

4 years 1974   W. Brantley Harvey, Jr.
111     Richard Riley Democratic January 10, 1979

January 14, 1987

(Term limited)

8 years 1978   Nancy Stevenson First elected to two consecutive 4-year terms
1982   Michael R. Daniel
112     Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. Republican January 14, 1987

January 11, 1995

(Term limited)

8 years 1986   Nick Theodore
1990
113     David Beasley Republican January 11, 1995

January 13, 1999

(Lost reelection)

4 years 1994   Bob Peeler
114     Jim Hodges Democratic January 13, 1999

January 15, 2003

(Lost reelection)

4 years 1998
115     Mark Sanford Republican January 15, 2003

January 12, 2011

(Term Limited)

8 years 2002   André Bauer
2006
116     Nikki Haley Republican January 12, 2011

January 24, 2017

(Resigned)[l]

6 years 2010   Ken Ard First female governor

First minority governor

  Glenn F. McConnell
  J. Yancey McGill
2014   Henry McMaster
117     Henry McMaster Republican January 24, 2017

Incumbent[m]
5 years, 315 days[n] Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
  Kevin L. Bryant
2018   Pamela Evette
2022

Timeline of recent party controlEdit

The timeline below depicts the party control of the governorship since 1970.

Henry McMasterNikki HaleyMark SanfordJim HodgesDavid BeasleyCarroll A. Campbell Jr.Richard RileyJames B. EdwardsJohn C. West

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The South Carolina legislature proposed a new constitution in 1778. Rutledge vetoed it, stating that it moved the state dangerously close to a direct democracy, which Rutledge believed was only a step away from total anarchy. When the legislature overrode his veto, Rutledge resigned.
  2. ^ Years are rounded
  3. ^ Resigned to become United States Senator
  4. ^ Resigned to become Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court
  5. ^ Resigned to become Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under the Grover Cleveland administration.
  6. ^ Resigned to avoid attending the gubernatorial inauguration of Richard Manning
  7. ^ Resigned to accept position on the Federal Farm Loan Board
  8. ^ Beginning with the election of 1926, governors were elected to a four year term. Governors were unable to serve more than one consecutive term until the election of 1978.
  9. ^ Resigned to become United States Senator
  10. ^ Resigned to become United States Senator
  11. ^ Resigned to become United States Senator
  12. ^ Resigned to become United States Ambassador to the United Nations
  13. ^ McMaster's second full term will begin on January 11, 2023 and will expire January 13, 2027; He will be term-limited
  14. ^ As of December 5, 2022

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit