Henry McMaster is the incumbent Governor of South Carolina who assumed office on January 24, 2017 as the successor of Nikki Haley. Previously, he was Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina (2015 – 2017), Attorney General of South Carolina (2003 – 2011) and Chair of the South Carolina Republican Party (1994 – 2001).
Early Life and Education
Born on May 27, 1947, Henry McMaster was raised in Columbia, South Carolina by father William Appleby and mother Linda Ann. While a child, he went to a local community school to complete high school education.
Graduating from high school, Henry joined the University of South Carolina for undergraduate studies in history. Later, he returned to the same university for a degree in law. While a law student, McMaster was largely involved in the South Carolina Law Review.
Henry McMaster is married to Peggy McMaster with two children: Mary Rogers and Henry McMaster Jr. The McMaster couple has been married for 38 years now.
While a young dynamic man, Henry McMaster was recruited into the US Army for Vietnam War. He served for six years from 1969 to 1975. Leaving the military force and having acquired a degree in law, McMaster joined the US Senator Storm Thurmond’s team as a legislative assistant. Later, he was recruited by Tompkins and McMaster as a private law practitioner. Thereafter, McMaster professionally followed the path of law career and represented various levels of clients.
Having been an experienced lawyer, McMaster entered the Republican President Ronald Reagan’s administration team as US Attorney for South Carolina. Approved by the Senate, he was assigned to lead the SC Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee for a term of four years. Under the capacity of a US Attorney, McMaster managed to persecute around 100 marijuana and hashish smugglers in South Carolina after an intensive investigation on the matter.
Leaving the Reagan administration, Henry made a bid for a seat in the US Senate. Although he gained the Republican nomination, he lost against Democrat Ernest Hollings. Likewise, in 1990, McMaster lost another election of Lieutenant Governor against incumbent Nick Theodre. Finally, in 1991, Henry again made an entry to the administration by serving in Commission on Higher Education. McMaster was also a member of the board of directors of the South Carolina Policy Council at that time.
As a prominent Republican member, McMaster got elected to chair the South Carolina Republican Party. He gained three more two-year terms at the post and left in May 2001, being succeeded by Katon Dawson. Then, McMaster decided to run for the 2002 South Carolina Attorney General Election and successfully gained the Republican nomination with 55.81% votes in the run-off election. Later, he faced Democrat candidate Steve Benjamin and thrashed him with 55.48% votes. McMaster sought for a second term in the office and won with 99.22% votes.
In 2010, Henry decided to leave Attorney General’s office and run for Governor of South Carolina. Unfortunately, McMaster only managed to get 16.93% votes which put him in the third position after Nikki Haley and Gresham Barrett. Hence, in 2014 Lieutenant Governor’s election, He ran against Pat McKinney and Mike Campbell in the primaries and won with 43.63% votes. Later, in the run-off election, Henry defeated Mike Campbell with 63.58% – 36.42% votes and faced Democrat Bakari Sellers in the finals. Henry had a landslide victory with 58.75% votes. As the incumbent Governor Nikki Haley resigned from Governor’s office, Henry McMaster succeeded her.
Donald Trump and Henry McMaster
Donald Trump and Henry McMaster are long-term allies to each other. According to Breitbart, President Trump’s decision to nominate Nikki Haley for US Ambassador to the UN necessarily elevated Henry McMaster. Recently, McMaster asked for $5 billion of federal funding to renovate South Carolina’s roads. Although the two leaders are allies, McMaster doesn’t agree on Trump’s proposal of gas tax increases.