COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster will take the oath of office on the steps of the Statehouse in Columbia Wednesday morning.
His swearing-in for a second full term as governor puts him in a position to make history in the Palmetto State. At the end of his second full term in office, he will have served in the role for 10 years, longer than anyone else in state history.
Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette will also take the oath for her second term in office at the state’s 98th Inaugural.
The day’s events will begin with a prayer service at 9 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia.
The 98th South Carolina Inaugural will begin at 11 a.m. on the Statehouse steps in Columbia.
In addition to McMaster and Evette, the state’s constitutional officers will also be sworn in, including incoming State Education Superintendent Ellen Weaver, who will take over the role after the state’s former top educator, Molly Spearman, decided not to run for re-election.
McMaster campaign spokesman, Rob Godfrey, says five former state governors - Dick Riley, David Beasley, Jim Hodges, Mark Sanford and Nikki Haley - are expected to attend the ceremony.
Riley, 90, who served as governor from 1979 to 1987 and later went on serve as U.S. Secretary of Education under President Bill Clinton, will be the oldest former governor attending the ceremony.
Beasley served as governor from 1995 until 1999. Last month, he announced he will step down after a six-year term as executive director of the United Nations World Food Program, which won the Nobel Peace Prize two years ago under his watch. Beasley was appointed to the U.N. Post in 2017 by President Donald Trump.
Hodges served for one term as governor from 1999 to 2003. He is the only Democrat elected to the office since Riley finished his second term.
Sanford succeeded Hodges in 2003, serving until 2011. He went on to return to Congress to represent the state’s First Congressional District from 2013 to 2019, an office he had previously held from 1995 to 2001.
Haley followed Sanford, serving one-and-a-half terms from 2011 to 2017 when she left office at the invitation of Trump to become an ambassador to the United Nations.
McMaster, then lieutenant governor, completed the rest of Haley’s second term and has since been elected to two full terms of his own.
Godfrey said other dignitaries expected to attend include former S.C. House Speaker and U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins; former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Ed McMullen; and Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann.
Medal of Honor recipient James Livingston will deliver the Pledge of Allegiance and Emma Brook will perform the national anthem.
After the inauguration and McMaster’s speech, the state’s first family will hold an open house at the Governor’s Mansion from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will end the day with the Inaugural Ball from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on Lincoln Street.
The 75-year-old Republican defeated Democratic challenger and former First District Congressman Joe Cunningham in November to win his second full term in office. The race was called for McMaster less than two hours after polls closed on election night.
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