Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
|Lieutenant Governor of |
|Appointer||Governor of South Carolina|
|Term length||Four years, no limit|
|Constituting instrument||Constitution of South Carolina|
|Inaugural holder||Thomas Broughton (1730)|
|Formation||January 1, 1730|
|Salary||$46,545 (2016) |
The lieutenant governor of South Carolina is the second-in-command to the governor of South Carolina. Beyond overseeing the Office on Aging and the responsibility to act or serve as governor in the event of the office's vacancy, the duties of the lieutenant governor are chiefly ceremonial. The current lieutenant governor is Pamela Evette, who took office January 9, 2019.
Roles and responsibilities
The chief responsibility of the lieutenant governor is to act 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. Since 1776, eleven lieutenant governors have ascended to the governorship, the most recent of which 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.
From 1865 until 2019, the lieutenant governor served as the president of the South Carolina Senate. However, constitutional amendments that took effect in January 2019 require that the Senate choose its own president from among its body. The office of lieutenant governor is considered a part-time position and has no constitutional responsibilities outside of exercising the powers of the governor when necessary. The office of lieutenant governor oversees the South Carolina Office on Aging.
Election and term
The lieutenant governor is elected at the same time and on the same ticket as the governor. The lieutenant governor's term is the same as the governor's, beginning at noon on the first Wednesday after the second Tuesday of January following the election and lasting four years. Unlike the governor, there are no term limits for lieutenant governor, though no lieutenant governor under the current constitution has ever served more than two terms or 8 years. The lieutenant governor must also meet the eligibility requirement as the office of governor.
Oath of office
The lieutenant governor-elect is constitutionally required to take an oath of office before fulfilling any duties of the 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."
Should the lieutenant governor leave the office early by impeachment, death, resignation, disability, or disqualification, the governor will appoint a new lieutenant governor. If both the governor and lieutenant governor are unable to become governor, then the Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives, President of the South Carolina Senate, Secretary of State, State Treasurer or Attorney General (in that order) shall become governor.
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.
The longest-serving lieutenant governor was William Bull II, who served 21 years and 5 days from March 21, 1755 to March 26, 1776, who also served as acting governor four times. Two women have served as lieutenant governor: Nancy Stevenson (1979–1983) and incumbent Pamela Evette (2019–present). Two African Americans have served as lieutenant governor: Alonzo J. Ransier (1870–1872) and his successor, Richard Howell Gleaves (1872–1876).
List of lieutenant governors
- "South Carolina state government salary". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
- "New to politics, SC Lt. Gov. Evette reflects on 1st year". www.apnews.com. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
- "Aging Services". Central Midlands Council of Governments. n.d. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
- Peterson, Jenny (18 October 2018). "What exactly does South Carolina Lieutenant Governor do?". ABC4 News. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
- "South Carolina Governor Elections & Candidates: Election Guide to SC Governor and Lieutenant Governor Races". www.sciway.net. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
Media files used on this page
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Van McCarty as the nominee for the 29th adjutant general for South Carolina during a press conference at the State House in Columbia, South Carolina, Jan. 17, 2019. Gov. McMaster was joined by McCarty, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., the current adjutant general for South Carolina, and South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Jessica Donnelly, South Carolina National Guard)
Seal of the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina