State House

South Carolina Senator Won’t Run Again In 2024

Thomas McElveen will not seek reelection …

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South Carolina state senator Thomas McElveen will not seek another term in office in 2024, according to a news release from his campaign.

McElveen, 46, of Sumter, S.C. is in the final year of his third term representing S.C. Senate District 35 (.pdf) – which includes parts of Sumter, Lee, Kershaw and Richland counties.

“Following much careful reflection, heartfelt discussions with loved ones, and plenty of prayer, it has become clear to me that the time and the season have now come for me to step away from the South Carolina General Assembly and to be even more present for my children at home as they grow and begin to pursue their own interests and passions,” McElveen said.

McElveen was elected in 2012 and took office at the age of 34, making him the youngest member of the Senate at the time. He described his tenure in office as one filled with advocacy on behalf of “bipartisan collaboration, rural communities, environmental conservation, and military-friendly legislation.”



McElveen easily won a Democratic primary for this seat in June 2012 after incumbent Phil Leventis declined to seek a ninth term in office. He defeated Republican challenger Tony Barwick in the general election that November – drawing 54.78 percent of the vote.

McElveen ran unopposed in both the 2016 and 2020 election cycles – and there were no rumblings at the S.C. State House of him facing credible opposition in 2024.

McElveen’s release noted that while his time in the legislature was ending, “his commitment to serving South Carolina remains unwavering.” He also vowed to provide “support and guidance to his successor” so as to ensure a “smooth transition and the continuation of the district’s recent successes well into the future.”

His release noted that he “looks forward to spending more time with his family and continuing to provide legal representation through his law practice” at the Sumter, S.C.-based Bryan Law Firm.

McElveen is the second senator to announce his intention not to run in 2024. Back in January, state senator Nikki Setzler announced he would not seek a twelfth four-year term representing S.C. Senate District 26 (.pdf). Setzler’s decision has sparked a contentious Democratic primary election between state senator Dick Harpootlian of Columbia and state representative Russell Ott of St. Matthews.

Both Republicans and Democrats are expected to compete for the seat McElveen is vacating. The district has a slight Democratic lean – but could wind up being very competitive in a general election with former U.S. president Donald Trump on the ballot. “Republicans” currently occupy thirty (30) of the S.C. Senate’s 46 seats. Fifteen (15) are held by Democrats, while one is held by a progressive independent – Mia McLeod.



(Travis Bell Photography)

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 and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.



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