|South Carolina's 2nd congressional district|
South Carolina's 2nd congressional district – since January 3, 2013.
The 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina is a congressional district in central and southwestern South Carolina. The district spans from Columbia to the South Carolina side of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area.
It was made more compact in the 2010 round of redistricting, and now comprises all of Lexington, Aiken and Barnwell counties, most of Richland County, and part of Orangeburg County. Besides Columbia (60 percent of which is in the district), other major cities in the district include Aiken and North Augusta.
The district's current configuration dates from 1933, following South Carolina losing a seat in apportionment as a result of the 1930 Census showing that the state's population had declined. Before that time, much of its territory had been within the 6th district.
As a Columbia-based district from 1933 to the early 1990s, it was a fairly compact district in the central part of the state, which was largely coextensive with the Columbia metropolitan area. As a result of the 1990 census, the state legislature was required to draw a black-majority district. In a deal between Republicans and Democrats, the 6th District, previously located in the northeastern portion of the state, was redefined to incorporate most of the old 2nd's black residents. To make up for the loss in population, the 2nd was pushed as far west as the fringes of the Augusta suburbs and as far south as Beaufort/Hilton Head.
Since 1965 the 2nd district has been held by the Republican Party, made up of white conservatives in the late 20th-century realignment of political parties in the South. In the decades after the Civil War and before disenfranchisement in 1895 under the new state constitution, members of the Republican Party in South Carolina and the South were mostly African Americans, including many freedmen enfranchised due to Republican support for amendments for emancipation, citizenship and the franchise. After white Democrats regained control of state governments across the South, in the late 19th century, they passed new constitutions from 1890 to 1908 to disenfranchise blacks, excluding them totally from the political process. The Republican Party was crippled in the region and nearly comatose.
As a result of the Civil Rights Movement, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which provided for federal enforcement of blacks' constitutional rights. That year, the 2nd district's second-term Democratic congressman, Albert Watson, resigned, then ran as a Republican in the ensuing special election and won, becoming the first Republican to represent South Carolina in the House since Reconstruction.
Watson gave up the seat to run for governor in 1970. His successor, state senator Floyd Spence, held the seat for more than 30 years. He was chairman of the House Armed Services Committee from 1995 to 2001, and died a few months after being elected to a 16th term. He was succeeded in a special election by one of his former aides, state senator Joe Wilson.
Wilson has since been reelected seven times. In the most recent election, held on November 4, 2014, Wilson earned almost 62.5% of the vote against former Democrat Phil Black and Labor Party candidate Harold Geddings. The district is more than 69% white.
Election results from presidential races
|2004||George W. Bush 60 - 39%|
|2008||John McCain 59.5 - 39.4%|
|2012||Mitt Romney 59.1 - 39.4%|
|2016||Donald Trump 56.3 - 38.6%|
List of members representing the district
Living former members
As of October 2019[update], there are no living former members of the House from the district. The most recent representative to die was Hugo S. Sims Jr. (served 1949–1951) on July 9, 2004. The most recently serving representative to die was Floyd Spence (served 1971–2001), who died in office on August 16, 2001.
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (September 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
- "South Carolina". Official congressional directory. p. 104.
- "The national atlas". nationalatlas.gov. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present
- Political Graveyard database of South Carolina congressmen