Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Kevin Bryant is South Carolina's fifth lieutenant governor in five years

The job nobody wants

Posted by Sam Spence on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 4:34 PM

Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant once tried to insert Bible verses into state law - S.C. STATEHOUSE
  • S.C. Statehouse
  • Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant once tried to insert Bible verses into state law
This afternoon, controversial state Sen. Kevin Bryant became the state's new lieutenant governor. Bryant, a pharmacist by trade, is the state's fifth man in less than five years to hold that post. It's regarded as a job that nobody wants [Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4]. But it has its perks, like being first in line to become governor.

We're here today because of some strategic maneuvering by top-level Statehouse politicians to cling to power. Yesterday, after Gov. Nikki Haley was confirmed to join the United Nations and before Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster took the oath to become governor, Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman resigned his leadership post to avoid becoming lieutenant governor. Today, elections were held to fill the vacant pro temp position, with the winner immediately becoming lieutenant governor. Shortly after, Leatherman was quickly re-elected as Senate pro tempore, free of the pesky shackles of constitutional succession.

But if the past few years are any indication, we'll likely repeat this scenario again.

Here's a look at the last few folks to hold the office:

Ken Ard (R), January 2011-March 2012.
Method of taking office: Elected
Reason for leaving: Pleaded guilty to ethics violations, resigned
Total time in office: 423 days

Glenn McConnell (R), March 2012-June 2014.
Method of taking office: Succession, had been Senate president pro temp
Reason for leaving: Hired to become president of College of Charleston, resigned
Total time in office: 828 days

Yancey McGill (D), June 2014-January 2015
Method of taking office: Volunteered after pro temp resigned
Reason for leaving: Term ended
Total time in office: 211 days

Henry McMaster (R), January 2015-January 2017
Method of taking office: Elected
Reason for leaving: Succeeded Nikki Haley as governor
Total time in office: 742 days

Kevin Bryant (R), January 2017-present
Method of taking office: Volunteered after pro temp resigned

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