Who is South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster?

Published: Nov. 23, 2016 at 6:01 AM EST
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Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Former Governor Nikki Haley has resigned to assume her position as US Ambassador to the United Nations. Next in the line of succession is Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster who was sworn in on Tuesday. However, you may have questions about who McMaster is. So who is Henry McMaster?

According to the South Carolina State House and Lieutenant Governor's websites, Henry Dargan McMaster was born on May 27, 1947 in Columbia. He is the son of the late attorney and former State Representative John Gregg McMaster and the late Ida Dargan McMaster.

McMaster was a graduate of the University of South Carolina in 1969, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in History. He went on to receive a Juris Doctor degree in 1973 at USC's School of Law, where he served on the Law Review.

A military man, McMaster was listed in the US Army JAG from 1969 to 1975.

He was the Legislative Assistant to US Senator Strom Thurmond from 1973 to 1974. He entered private practice in 1974 in his father's business, Tompkins & McMaster.

On March 18, 1978, he married Peggy Jean McAbee; with whom he has two children Henry, Jr. and Mary Rogers.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed McMaster as United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina, he was the first US Attorney appointed by President Reagan. He served in this position until 1985.

He served on the state's Commission on Higher Education from 1991-1994. He was also on the board of directors for the South Carolina Policy Council from 1991 until 2003, he was chairman of the board from 1992-93.

McMaster, a Republican, was chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party from 1993 to 2002, and a member of the Republican National Committee during that same time.

He received the Order of the Palmetto in 1996, considered the highest civilian honor in the State of South Carolina.

McMaster served as South Carolina's Attorney General from 2003 to 2011, where he "initiated constitutional challenge" to Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act, established criminal domestic violence courts, an internet predator task force, expanded the state grand jury's jurisdiction to gangs, securities fraud and environmental crimes, and brought and won the United States Supreme Court case against North Carolina to protect the Catawba River basin in South Carolina.

After his tenure as Attorney General, he served on the South Carolina State Ports Authority from 2011 to 2016, and was co-chair of the South Carolina Ethics Reform Commission from 2012 to 2013. McMaster was elected Lieutenant Governor on Nov. 4, 2014.

McMaster is a member of the Columbia Rotary Club, Kappa Alpha Order, St. Andrews Society, and the First Presbyterian Church of Columbia.

McMaster has been a staunch opponent of President Barack Obama, and a vocal supporter of President-Elect Donald Trump.