South Carolina Democratic Party
|Chairperson||Trav Robertson, Jr.|
|Senate Minority Leader||Brad Hutto|
|House Minority Leader||J. Todd Rutherford|
|Headquarters||1929 Gadsden |
Columbia, South Carolina
|Political position||Center to center-left|
|National affiliation||Democratic Party|
|Seats in the U.S. Senate|
0 / 2
|Seats in the U.S. House of Representatives|
1 / 7
|Statewide Executive Offices|
0 / 9
|Seats in the South Carolina Senate|
16 / 46
|Seats in the South Carolina House of Representatives|
43 / 124
Between 1880 and 1948, South Carolina's Democratic Party dominated state politics. The 1948 presidential election marked the winds of change as Strom Thurmond ran on behalf of the States' Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrats). He accumulated 71% of the votes cast in South Carolina that year.
Nearly 100 years after the conclusion of the Civil War (around 1949), the state was still preoccupied with racial tension, which muffled the debate about essentially all other issues. During this time, all politics revolved around the Democratic Party. Furthermore, a single faction typically dominated local politics. South Carolina was locked into the traditionalistic culture dominant throughout the South. Political change was often resisted by South Carolina's agrarian leaders. The agrarian leaders were middle-class farmers that were thought to maintain the status quo of the Democratic Party. For much of South Carolina's history, the lower class was generally not allowed to vote.
Current elected officials
The South Carolina Democratic Party currently control none of the statewide offices and holds minorities in both the South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives. Democrats hold one of the state's seven U.S. House seats.
Members of Congress
Republicans have controlled both of South Carolina's seats in the U.S. Senate since 2004. Fritz Hollings was the last Democrat to represent South Carolina in the U.S. Senate. First elected in the 1966 special election, Hollings opted to retire instead of seeking a seventh full term. Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum ran as the Democratic nominee in the 2004 election and was subsequently defeated by Republican challenger Jim DeMint.
U.S. House of Representatives
Out of the seven seats South Carolina is apportioned in the U.S. House of Representatives, one is held by Democrats:
South Carolina has not elected any Democratic candidates to statewide office since 2006, when Jim Rex was elected as the Superintendent of Education. In 2010, Rex opted not to run for re-election, instead running unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for Governor. Former United States Deputy Secretary of Education Frank Holleman ran as the Democratic nominee and was subsequently defeated by Republican challenger Mick Zais.
State legislative leaders
Officers and staff
As of July 2019, the state party officers were:
- Chair: Trav Robertson, Jr.
- 1st Vice Chairman: Lessie Price
- 2nd Vice Chairman: Anthony B. Thompson Jr.
- 3rd Vice Chairman: Jeni Atchley
- Secretary: Joyce Rose-Harris
- Treasurer: Kendra Dove
State Party Staff:
- Executive Director: Jay Parmley
- Chief of Staff: Tim Sullivan
- Finance Director: Ellen Stankiewicz
- Director of Voter Protection: Shaundra Young Scott
- Deputy Director of Voter Protection: Eli Valentin
- Communications Director: Lauren Brown
- Political Director: Angela Clyburn
Members of the Democratic National Committee
- State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter
- Carol Fowler
- Clay Middleton
- Progressive Democratic Party (South Carolina)
- South Carolina Republican Party
- South Carolina Green Party
- Bass, Jack. Thompon, Marilyn. "Strom". PublicAffairs, 2005.