South Carolina’s McMaster wins re-election, will be state’s longest serving governor

Republican South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has been re-elected Tuesday for the state’s top job for the second time, which will make him the state’s longest serving governor if he completes another full term.

Governors serve a period of four years per term before being required to seek re-election or retire if they have already been elected twice.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and the heads of various state agencies speak about the likely impact of Hurricane Ian on South Carolina on Sept. 28, 2022.
(Joshua Boucher/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

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However, McMaster will have served 10 years by the time he finishes up his governorship, making him the state’s longest-serving governor.

McMaster’s unusually long tenure came to be as he was tapped to fill in for former Gov. Nikki Haley in January 2017, when she was chosen by then President Trump to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

He was elected for his first full term in November 2018.

Rep. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., addresses the crowd at the 2019 South Carolina Democratic Party State Convention on June 22, 2019, in Columbia, South Carolina.
(Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

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The South Carolina governor faced some opposition from Democratic challenger Joe Cunningham.

Though Cunningham was only able to achieve 40.6% of the state’s vote, while McMaster secured just over 58%.

McMaster championed his policies during the coronavirus pandemic when he chose to keep the state largely open and claimed the decision contributed to South Carolina’s strong economy.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signs into law a bill banning almost all abortions in the state Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, in Columbia, South Carolina.
(AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

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He has pledged to do more to boost the state’s economy by attracting more businesses and deepening the Charleston port – the nation’s ninth-busiest port – to increase commercial shipping.

McMaster drew criticism from Democratic voters over his stance on a six-week abortion ban and comments he made last month when he said he would support banning same-sex marriage if the Supreme Court were to overturn the 2015 landmark decision.