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The South Carolina Senate is the upper house of the South Carolina General Assembly, the lower house being the South Carolina House of Representatives. It consists of 46 senators elected from single member districts for four-year terms at the same time as United States Presidential elections.

The South Carolina Constitution of 1895 provided for each county to elect one senator for a four-year term. The election of senators was staggered so that half of the state Senate was elected every two years. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1964 for the case Reynolds v. Sims, the state Senate was reapportioned in 1966 as a temporary measure into 27 districts with 50 members for two-year terms. In 1967, the state Senate was again reapportioned, this time into 20 districts with 46 members for four-year terms. The number of districts was reduced to 16 in 1972 and in 1984, they were eliminated with the creation of single member districts.

Contents

Composition

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Republican Democratic Vacant
2005-2008 Legislature 27 19 46 0
2009-2012 Legislature 27 19 46 0
Latest voting share 58.7% 41.3%
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Leadership

Lieutenant Governor André Bauer (R) is the President of the Senate, Glenn F. McConnell (R-Charleston) is the President Pro Tempore, and John W. Drummond (D-Greenwood County) is the President Pro Tempore Emeritus.

Members of the South Carolina Senate

Except as noted, all Senators were elected in November 2004. All terms expire in November 2008.

(1) Elected in 2006 special election.
(2) Elected in 2007 special election.

District Senator Party Residence
1 Thomas C. Alexander Republican Walhalla
2 Larry A. Martin Republican Pickens
3 Kevin L. Bryant Republican Anderson
4 William H. O'Dell Republican Greenwood
5 Lewis R. Vaughn (1) Republican Greer
6 Michael L. Fair Republican Greenville
7 Ralph Anderson Democratic Greenville
8 David L. Thomas Republican Greenville
9 Daniel B. Verdin III Republican Laurens
10 John W. Drummond Democratic Ninety Six
11 Glenn G. Reese Democratic Inman
12 John D. Hawkins Republican Spartanburg
13 James H. Ritchie, Jr. Republican Spartanburg
14 Harvey S. Peeler, Jr. Republican Gaffney
15 Robert W. Hayes, Jr. Republican Rock Hill
16 Chauncey K. Gregory Republican Lancaster
17 Creighton B. Coleman Democratic Winnsboro
18 Ronnie W. Cromer Republican Prosperity
19 Kay Patterson Democratic Columbia
20 John E. Courson Republican Richland County
21 Darrell Jackson Democratic Hopkins
22 Joel Lourie Democratic Columbia
23 John M. Kotts, Jr. Republican West Columbia
24 W. Greg Ryberg Republican Aiken
25 A. Shane Massey (2) Republican Edgefield
26 Nikki G. Setzler Democratic West Columbia
27 Vincent A. Sheheen Democratic Camden
28 Dick Elliott Democratic North Myrtle Beach
29 Gerald Malloy Democratic Hartsville
30 Kent M. Williams Democratic Marion
31 Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr. Republican Florence
32 J. Yancey McGill Democratic Kingstree
33 Luke A. Rankin Republican Myrtle Beach
34 Raymond E. Cleary III Republican Murrells Inlet
35 Phil P. Leventis Democratic Sumter
36 John C. Land III Democratic Manning
37 Lawrence K. Grooms Republican Bonneau
38 Randy Scott Republican Summerville
39 John W. Matthews, Jr. Democratic Bowman
40 C. Bradley Hutto Democratic Orangeburg
41 Glenn F. McConnell Republican Charleston
42 Robert Ford Democratic Charleston
43 George E. Campsen III Republican Isle of Palms
44 Paul G. Campbell, Jr. (2) Republican Goose Creek
45 Clementa C. Pinckney Democratic Ridgeland
46 Tom Davis (2) Republican Beaufort

Past Make-up of the Senate

Year Democratic
Party
Republican
Party
Independent
/ Other

Majority
1865 0 0 31 31
1868 6(a) 25 0 19
1870 5 26 1 22
1872 5 28 0 23
1874 0 26 7(b) 19
1876 15 18 0 3
1878 31 3 0 28
1880 32 2 0 30
1902-
1906
41 0 0 41
1908 42 0 0 42
1910 43 0 0 43
1912-
1914
44 0 0 44
1916-
1918
45 0 0 45
1920-
1964
46 0 0 46
1966 43 6 1 37
1968 43 3 0 40
1972 43 3 0 40
1976 43 3 0 40
1980 39 5 0 34
1984 36 10 0 26
1988 35 11 0 24
1992 30 16 0 14
1996 25 21 0 4
2000 22(c) 24(c) 0 2
2004 20 26(d) 0 6
2008 19 27 0 8

(a) The election of a Democrat from Abbeville was declared void and the seat remained vacant.
(b) All 7 were members of the Conservative Party of South Carolina.
(c) After the 2000 elections, the Senate was evenly split between 23 Democrats and 23 Republicans. A Democrat, J. Verne Smith of Greer, switched to the Republicans to break the tie.
(d) Republicans gained an additional seat in a 2007 special election. The current party makeup is 27 Republicans and 19 Democrats.

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