Hugh Leatherman, stalwart South Carolina senator, dies at 90

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — State Sen. Hugh Leatherman, South Carolina’s oldest and most powerful state lawmaker, has died.

His office says Leatherman died Friday at his home in Florence, where he was in hospice care with inoperable cancer.

Leatherman was in his 11th term, still serving at the age of 90.

Governor Henry McMaster issued the following statement on the passing of Senator Leatherman:  

“A powerful force for the progress and prosperity of our people has left us. For over fifty years, Hugh Leatherman poured his life into our state and we are the better for it. He loved his work and kept his word. He never quit. We will miss him. May God bless him and his family.” 

Governor Henry McMaster

The governor will soon order that flags be lowered in honor of Senator Leatherman’s service to the state of South Carolina, once funeral arrangements are made and announced.

First elected to the Senate in 1980 as a Democrat, he ran unsuccessfully for governor years later before switching parties in the 1990s. 

In a state where the governor has less power, Leatherman chaired the Senate Finance Committee, and was long considered South Carolina’s most powerful politician for his control over the state budget.

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