Ralph Norman

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Ralph Norman
Ralph Norman official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th district
Assumed office
June 20, 2017[1]
Preceded byMick Mulvaney
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
from the 48th district
In office
November 3, 2009 – February 16, 2017
Preceded byCarl Gullick
Succeeded byBruce Bryant
In office
January 2005 – January 2007
Preceded byBecky Richardson
Succeeded byCarl Gullick
Personal details
Ralph Warren Norman Jr.

(1953-06-20) June 20, 1953 (age 65)
Rock Hill, South Carolina, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Elaine Rice
EducationPresbyterian College (BS)
WebsiteHouse website

Ralph Warren Norman Jr. (born June 20, 1953) is an American real estate developer and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for South Carolina's 5th congressional district since 2017. He is a member of the Republican Party. He was a South Carolina House Representative from 2005 to 2007 and from 2009 until 2017.

Early life and career[edit]

He was born in York County, South Carolina, and currently resides in Rock Hill, where he is a real estate developer at the Warren Norman Company, a business founded by and named after Norman's father. He and his wife, Elaine have 4 children and 16 grandchildren.[2]

South Carolina House of Representatives[edit]

In 2004, Norman was elected to serve District 48 in the South Carolina House of Representatives, winning a three-way Republican primary outright with 52% of the vote. After one term, Norman chose not to run for reelection so he could become the 2006 Republican candidate in an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Congress in South Carolina's 5th congressional district against John Spratt.[3]

On November 3, 2009, Ralph Norman defeated Democrat Kathy Cantrell in a special election to reclaim his old seat.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


Norman being interviewed in 2019

2017 special election[edit]

In December 2016, President Trump nominated Mick Mulvaney as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).[5] At the time, Mulvaney represented South Carolina's 5th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Shortly after this nomination, and in anticipation that Mulvaney's seat in Congress would be vacated once he was confirmed to the OMB by the United States Senate, Norman announced his intention to resign from the South Carolina House of Representatives to run for U.S. Congress.[6][7][8]

On May 16, 2017, Norman won a Republican primary runoff election against Tommy Pope by a margin of 0.62%, triggering an automatic recount per South Carolina state law.[9][10] Following that recount, the South Carolina State Election Commission certified Norman as the Republican primary winner on May 19, 2017. With 35,425 votes cast, Norman received 17,823, while Pope received 17,602, a 221-vote difference.[11]

Having secured the Republican nomination in the primary election, Norman went on to face the Democratic nominee, Archie Parnell, in a special election held on June 20, 2017. In that special election, Norman received 51.04% of the votes while Parnell received 47.94%.[12]

Norman was sworn into office on June 26, 2017.[13]

2018 general election[edit]

On March 19, 2018, Congressman Norman filed for re-election for with the South Carolina Election Commission.[14] Facing no Republican primary challengers, Norman secured the Republican party nomination following the South Carolina primary election held on June 12, 2018.[15]

Meanwhile, Archie Parnell, the Democratic challenger who was defeated by Norman during the 2017 special election, chose to run again for South Carolina's 5th Congressional District seat in Congress.[16] Parnell defeated three Democrat opponents to win that party's nomination, and went on to face Norman once again in the 2018 general election.[17]

The 2018 general election in South Carolina was held November 6, 2018. Norman won re-election, receiving 57.03% of the votes to Parnell's 41.49%.[18] Normans margin of victory was significantly larger than his margin of victory over Parnell in the 2017 special election, held 17 months earlier.

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Sexual assault joke[edit]

On September 20, 2018, at an election debate for the Republican nomination for the 5th congressional seat of South Carolina, Norman joked about sexual assault allegations made against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. He kicked-off the debate asking the audience, “Did y’all hear this latest late-breaking news on the Kavanaugh hearings? …Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out saying she was groped by Abraham Lincoln.”[27]

Firearm incident[edit]

While at a public meeting for constituents on April 6, 2018, Norman engaged in a conversation with representatives from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (MDA).[28] During that conversation, Norman placed his personal .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun on the table to illustrate his belief that "gun violence is a spiritual, mental or people issue, not a gun issue."[28] According to Norman, the loaded firearm was visible for "maybe a minute, or two minutes" and was never pointed at any individual.[29][30] However representatives from MDA who were seated at the table with Norman, said the firearm was visible for "five to 10 minutes" and that they felt unsafe.[30][31] Norman holds a Concealed Weapons Permit issued by the State of South Carolina.[32]

The incident sparked widespread criticism of Norman.[33] On April 9, 2018, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Trav Robertson wrote a letter to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division requesting felony charges against Norman for his conduct.[34] The case was originally assigned to South Carolina 16th Solicitor Kevin Brackett. However, Brackett recused himself citing a "personal friendship" with Norman.[35] The issue was then forwarded to South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, who declined to press charges stating that Norman's actions did not "warrant a criminal investigation" or constitute "a prosecutable offense."[36][37]


  1. ^ "NORMAN, Ralph, (1953 - )".
  2. ^ "Biography | U.S. Representative Ralph Norman". norman.house.gov. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  3. ^ Lyman, Rick (April 14, 2006). "Seeing Plausible Target, Republicans Take Aim at a Democratic Seat in South Carolina". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Norman Returned To SC State House | FITSNews". FITSNews. November 4, 2009. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012.
  5. ^ "Trump picks US Rep. Mulvaney to head White House budget office". CNBC. Reuters. December 16, 2016. Archived from the original on December 17, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  6. ^ Marchant, Bristow (2017-02-02). "What happens after SC's Mulvaney gets Trump's budget job?". The State. Retrieved 2017-05-19.
  7. ^ "Ralph Norman to run for Congress – if Mick Mulvaney takes Trump budget job". charlotteobserver. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  8. ^ "SC legislator resigns seat to run for Congress". thestate. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  9. ^ "SC - Election Results". www.enr-scvotes.org. South Carolina Election Commission. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  10. ^ "Recount needed: Norman edges Pope by 203 votes in GOP 5th District runoff". heraldonline. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  11. ^ "SC - Election Results". www.enr-scvotes.org. South Carolina Election Commission. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  12. ^ "SC - Election Results". www.enr-scvotes.org. South Carolina Election Commission. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  13. ^ Dumain, Emma (June 26, 2017). "South Carolina U.S. House Delegation Now Complete with Swearing-In of Republican Ralph Norman". The Post and Courier. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  14. ^ "Candidate Detail". info.scvotes.sc.gov. South Carolina Election Commission. Retrieved 2018-12-31.
  15. ^ "South Carolina's 5th Congressional District election, 2018". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2018-12-31.
  16. ^ Kropf, Schuyler. "Sumter Democrat Archie Parnell running for Congress again vs. Republican Ralph Norman". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2018-12-31.
  17. ^ "Election Night Reporting". www.enr-scvotes.org. South Carolina Election Commission. Retrieved 2018-12-31.
  18. ^ "Election Night Reporting". www.enr-scvotes.org. South Carolina Election Commission. November 27, 2018.
  19. ^ "Oversight and Reform Members". House Committee on Oversight and Reform. 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  20. ^ "Membership". House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. 2019-01-24. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  21. ^ "Membership". House Budget Committee Democrats. 2016-03-31. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  22. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  23. ^ Lovegrove, Jamie (July 2, 2018). "Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows to headline South Carolina GOP fundraiser". The Post and Courier. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  24. ^ "Creation". Congressional Solar Caucus. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  25. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  26. ^ "Rep. Norman and Rep. Brat Announce Launch of the Congressional Waste-Cutters Caucus". U.S. Representative Ralph Norman. 2018-09-06. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  27. ^ Thebault, Reis (September 20, 2018). "GOP congressman jokes about Ruth Bader Ginsburg being groped — by Abraham Lincoln". The Washington Post.
  28. ^ a b Lovegrove, Jamie. "U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman pulls out loaded gun in constituent meeting to make point about safety". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  29. ^ "Congressman Ralph Norman pulls out loaded gun at Rock Hill meet-and-greet". heraldonline. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  30. ^ a b Stevens, Matt; Caron, Christina (2018-04-08). "South Carolina Congressman Pulls Out Gun at a Meeting With Voters". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  31. ^ CNN, Annie Grayer,. "Congressman pulls out gun to make point on violence". CNN. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  32. ^ "Congressman Ralph Norman pulls out loaded gun at Rock Hill meet-and-greet". The Greenville News. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  33. ^ "Some question legality of Rep. Norman gun display at meet-and-greet". heraldonline. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  34. ^ "Dems seek charges after SC congressman displays handgun". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  35. ^ "The Latest: Solicitor recuses self from congressman gun case". heraldonline. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  36. ^ "Top Prosecutor: No Gun-Related Charges for SC Congressman". The New York Times. Associated Press. 2018-04-10. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  37. ^ Turnage, Jeremy. "AG Alan Wilson will not charge congressman who pulled out gun during constituent meeting". Retrieved 2018-04-11.

External links[edit]

South Carolina House of Representatives
Preceded by
Becky Richardson
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
from the 48th district

Succeeded by
Carl Gullick
Preceded by
Carl Gullick
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
from the 48th district

Succeeded by
Bruce Bryant
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mick Mulvaney
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jimmy Gomez
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
John Curtis