South Carolina New Members 2019

Rep.-elect Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.-01)

DATE OF BIRTH: May 26, 1982
RESIDENCE: Charleston, S.C.
EDUCATION: B.S., Florida Atlantic University; J.D., Northern Kentucky University
FAMILY: Wife, Amanda; one son

Joe Cunningham, a 36-year-old first-time candidate, is coming to Congress after a surprising upset over Republican state Rep. Katie Arrington in the open-seat race for South Carolina’s 1st District.


He becomes the first Democrat since 1981 to represent the coastal district, based in Charleston. The two candidates competed for the seat held by Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordThe Memo: Can the Never Trumpers succeed? Libertarians view Amash as potential 2020 game changer for party Trump becomes presumptive GOP nominee after sweeping primaries MORE (R-S.C.), who was defeated by Arrington in the GOP primary.

Cunningham, a Kentucky native, has politics in his blood. He is the son of Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham.

Formerly an ocean engineer, Joe Cunningham was working as a construction law attorney before jumping into the House race. He ran as a centrist Democrat, touting his support for the Second Amendment.

But his main issue was his opposition to offshore oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, putting him in line with voters in the district.

Rep.-elect William Timmons (R-S.C.-04)

DATE OF BIRTH: April 30, 1984
RESIDENCE: Greenville, S.C.
OCCUPATION: State lawmaker, businessman
EDUCATION: B.A., George Washington University; M.S., J.D., University of South Carolina
FAMILY: Single


William Timmons is quickly rising through the Republican ranks. Only two years after unseating a prominent GOP incumbent to win election to the South Carolina state Senate, he’ll now represent his hometown of Greenville in Congress.

Timmons will be replacing retiring Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyMore than two dozen former prosecutors, judges, active trial lawyers support DOJ decision to dismiss Michael Flynn case Sunday shows preview: As states loosen social distancing restrictions, lawmakers address dwindling state budgets John Ratcliffe is the right choice for director of national intelligence — and for America MORE (R) in the solidly red South Carolina 4th District.

While a relative political newcomer, Timmons hails from a family with long ties to the Greenville area. He emerged from a crowded 13-candidate GOP primary before defeating Democrat Brandon Brown in the general election.

A prominent lawyer, he prosecuted cases for four years and helped reform how Greenville County handles domestic violence cases. As a businessman, Timmons is also the owner of Swamp Rabbit CrossFit, Soul Yoga and Timmons and Company.

Timmons also sits on the boards of the American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upstate and the Pendleton Place for Children and Families.

Rep. Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanHouse GOP urge Trump against supporting additional funding for state and local governments House GOP lawmakers urge Senate to confirm Vought Top conservatives pen letter to Trump with concerns on fourth coronavirus relief bill MORE (R-S.C.-05)

DATE OF BIRTH: June 20, 1953
RESIDENCE:  Rock Hill, S.C.
EDUCATION: B.S., Presbyterian College
FAMILY: Wife, Elaine; four children

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) is returning to Congress to serve a full term. Norman was first elected in 2017 in the special election to replace Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyTrump names new acting director of legislative affairs 12 things to know today about coronavirus Mulvaney: ‘We’ve overreacted a little bit’ to coronavirus MORE. Mulvaney had represented South Carolina’s 5th District for seven years.

In the special election, Norman came in second in the GOP primary by only 135 votes but won the runoff against state Rep. Tommy Pope. He went on to squeak by Democrat Archie Parnell with 51 percent of the vote in the traditionally deep-red district.

Norman came to Congress after a stint in the South Carolina House of Representatives, where he was first elected in 2009.

Before politics, Norman worked as a real estate developer for Warren Norman Co., a business started by his father. 

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