On Jan. 24, former Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster succeeded Nikki Haley, becoming South Carolina’s 117th governor.
His succession came as a result of former Governor Haley’s confirmation as the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations.
McMaster is not new to the political sphere – he has worked as a legislative assistant to Republican U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, arguably the most influential South Carolinian in history behind John C. Calhoun. Additionally, McMaster was President Reagan’s first appointee as U.S. attorney for South Carolina in 1981. The Post and Courier reports that McMaster’s biggest accomplishment as U.S. attorney was “‘Operation Jackpot,’which led to the arrests of more than 100 people in connection with international marijuana smuggling during Reagan’s ‘War on Drugs.’”
Since President Trump nominated Haley to be the United States ambassador to the United Nations, McMaster has remained fairly quiet on issues facing South Carolina.
In the past, McMaster has acknowledged environmental issues, having previously written an opinion on the protection of marshlands, in addition to working with the state legislature to pass an environmental crimes bill.
Former Governor Haley believes he will keep the state’s best interests at heart – in a quote given to WLTX 19, she states “He has a love of our state, he loves our people and I know that he will do it with a steady hand.”
McMaster will serve the remainder of Haley’s term, until January 2019.