By Copper Dome Strategies

Friday, Dec. 11, 2020

The House and Senate pre-filed legislation this week in preparation of the 2021 legislative session. The House will have one more pre-file date again next Wednesday, and we will provide you a list of all legislation of interest next Friday.


The Electoral College will meet Monday at 11 a.m. Live audio of the meeting can be found here. The House Santee Cooper Ad Hoc Committee will meet Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Friday, Dec. 4, 2020

The House of Representatives met Monday and Tuesday for their organizational session in preparation for the 2021 legislative session. Fifteen new House members were sworn into office. The Senate will organize on the first day of the session in January.


House Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) was re-elected by the body on Tuesday to serve another two-year term as Speaker. Rep. Tommy Pope (R-York) was re-elected to serve as Speaker Pro Tem. Rep. Gary Simrill (R-Rock Hill) will again serve as Majority Leader. All three ran unopposed.

Rep. Todd Rutherford (D-Columbia) will continue serving as Minority Leader having narrowly defeated Representative Wendy Brawley (D-Hopkins) for the post he’s held since 2013. Rep. Travis Moore (R-Spartanburg) will serve as Chairman of the Freshman Caucus.


The House Judiciary Committee elected Rep. Chris Murphy (R-N. Charleston) on Wednesday as its new chairman. Murphy is an attorney who has served in the House since 2011. He replaces former chairman Representative Peter McCoy (R-Charleston), who resigned earlier this year after being appointed U.S. Attorney.

All other chairmen of the standing committees of the House were re-elected to continue to lead their respective committees.


Three new members were appointed by the Speaker to serve on the budget writing House Ways and Means Committee. They are Rep. Chandra Dillard (D-Greenville), Rep. Craig Gagnon (R-Abbeville) and Rep. Lee Hewitt (R-Murrells Inlet). Rep. Murrell Smith (R-Sumter) was re-elected by the committee to continue serving as chairman.


Fifteen new House members were sworn into office this week. They are:

Jerry Carter (R) Dist. 3 – Pickens. Carter is the retired Director of Corporate Affairs for the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). This seat was formerly held by Rep. Gary Clary (R), who retired this year.

Travis Moore (R) Dist. 33 – Spartanburg. Moore is an attorney with Anderson Moore, LLC in Spartanburg. He was elected to serve as Chairman of the House Freshman Caucus. This seat was formerly held by Rep. Eddie Tallon (R), who retired this year.

Roger Nutt (R) Dist. 34 – Spartanburg. Nutt is a licensed Professional Engineer in the states of South Carolina and Georgia. The seat was formerly held by Rep. Mike Forrester (R), who retired this year.

Sandy McGarry (R) Dist. 44 – Lancaster. McGarry is the Chairwoman of the Lancaster County Republican Party. She defeated incumbent Rep. Mandy Powers-Norrell (D) flipping the seat that had been held by Norrell since 2013.

Vic Dabney (R) Dist. 52 – Kershaw. Dabney is a career soldier, Apache attack helicopter pilot, and instructor. He defeated incumbent Rep. Laurie Funderburk (D) flipping the seat that had been held by Funderburk since 2004.

Kim Johnson (D) Dist. 64 – Clarendon. Johnson is Director of Community Engagement with HopeHealth in Manning. This seat was formerly held by Rep. Robert Ridgeway (D), who retired this year.

Jermaine Johnson (D) Dist. 80 – Richland. Johnson is the founder of Dream Team Consulting, an organizational development firm in Columbia.. He defeated incumbent Rep. Jimmy Bales in the Democratic primary and was unopposed in November.

RJ May (R) Dist. 88 – Lexington. May is the founder of Ivory Tusk Consulting, a Lexington County-based firm that assists conservative candidates in becoming public servants. The seat was formerly held by Rep. Mac Toole (R) who retired this year.

Gil Gatch (R) Dist. 94 – Dorchester. Gatch is an attorney with Gil Gatch Law, LLC, in Summerville. The seat was formerly held by Rep. Con Chellis (R) who retired this year.

Ryan McCabe (R) Dist. 96 – Lexington. McCabe is an attorney with McCabe, Trotter, & Beverly in Columbia which specializes in community association and construction law. McCabe defeated incumbent Rep. Kit Spires in the Republican primary and was unopposed in November.

Mark Smith (R) Dist. 99 – Charleston. Smith is the Owner and President of McAlister-Smith Funeral Homes, Avinger Funeral Home, and the Palmetto Cremation Society. The seat was formerly held by Nancy Mace (R) who is now serving in Congress.

Case Brittain (R) Dist. 107 – Horry. Brittain is an attorney with the Brittain law firm in Myrtle Beach. The seat was formerly held by Rep. Alan Clemmons (R), who resigned from the House in August.

Deon Tedder (D) Dist. 109 – Charleston. Tedder is an attorney with the David Aylor Law Offices. His main area of practice is personal injury and criminal defense. The seat was formerly held by Rep. David Mack (D), who retired this year.

Joe Bustos (R) Dist. 112 – Charleston. Bustos is a retired US Army officer, former police officer and served on the Mount Pleasant Town Council. The seat was formerly held by Rep. Mike Sottile (R), who retired this year.

Chardale Murray (D) Dist. 116 – Charleston. Murray is the Owner of Murray’s Mortuary in Hollywood. The seat was formerly held by Rep. Robert Brown (D), who retired this year.


No planned meetings are scheduled for the immediate future. The General Assembly returns to session on January 12. We will keep you apprised of any legislative activity.