State House

South Carolina Senator John Scott Passes Away

Veteran lawmaker dies following heart attack …

Two days after sustaining a major heart attack, South Carolina state senator John Scott Jr. passed away on Sunday afternoon in Charleston, S.C. He was 69 years old.

A special election will be held in S.C. Senate District 19 (.pdf) to fill the unexpired portion of his term. Dates for the election will be announced by the S.C. Election Commission (

Sources familiar with the situation said Scott passed shortly before 1:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday (August 13, 2023).

Scott was hospitalized at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)’s cardiovascular unit on Friday evening following what sources described to us as a massive heart attack. According to reporter Joe Bustos of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper – who broke the news of Scott’s passing – the senator “dealt with blood clot issues earlier this year.”

A native of Richland County, S.C. Scott graduated from S.C. State University in 1975. He was elected to the S.C. General Assembly in 1990 and served eighteen years in the S.C. House of Representatives prior to winning election to the S.C. Senate in 2008. He had served in that chamber for the past fifteen years – winning a fourth term in 2020 after running unopposed.



The owner of J.L. Scott Realty, Scott was tapped in 2018 to be the lieutenant gubernatorial choice of Democrat Marguerite Willis – who was defeated in the primary election by state representative James Smith.

The following year, Scott delivered the Democratic response to S.C. governor Henry McMaster‘s state of the state address.

“I’m not interested in blaming someone for our problems,” Scott said in that speech. “I’m interested in solving them.”

“If we do not come together, then none of us deserve to be here,” Scott added.

Scott’s current and former colleagues in the Senate praised him for his “unwavering commitment to public service” and for the “memorable mark” he left on the state’s “legislative landscape.”

(Click to view)

John L. Scott Jr. (S.C. Legislative Black Caucus)

“Senator Scott’s legacy will forever be etched in the history of South Carolina,” Senate minority leader Brad Hutto said in a statement issued by his caucus. “His tireless work ethic, his willingness to bridge divides, and his unyielding commitment to the principles of justice and equality have set an example for us all.”

“John was a warm, caring friend and public servant who loved the South Carolina,” former state senator and two-time Democratic gubernatorial nominee Vincent Sheheen said. “He was also a fighter who scrapped his way to leadership through willpower and never giving up.  His presence will be missed.”

“He always made me laugh,” Sheheen added.

Sheheen’s partner on the popular Bourbon in the Backroom political podcast also praised Scott.

“The Scott and Lourie families have been friends for over fifty years, dating back to our late fathers,” former state senator Joel Lourie said. “My heart and prayers go to Joan and the Scott family during this sad time. He always stood strong on the causes he believed in and served his community and state with great honor. “

This is a developing story … please check back for updates.



Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.



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Goody3 Top fan August 13, 2023 at 3:10 pm

RIP – good and faithful servant.

More Please August 14, 2023 at 4:49 am

Another career politician checks out.
Good bye.

George Hearn August 16, 2023 at 12:58 pm

John Scott was a remarkable public servant. Members from both sides of the isle respected him and he will be sorely missed. I for one am grateful for his service and his friendship.


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