David Muldrow Beasley

83rd Governor of the State of South Carolina 1995 to 1999

Date Born: February 26, 1957

Date Died: Living

Place Born: Lamar, SC

Place Buried: TBD

Residence: Darlington, SC, then Society Hill, SC

Occupation: Lawyer, Banker, Politician

Lamar High School: Graduated 1975
Clemson University, majored in Microbiology: 1976-1978
University of South Carolina, Juris Doctorate: 1983

South Carolina House of Representatives: 1979-1992
– Chairman, House Education and Public Works Commission, 1989-1990
– Chairman, SC Mining Council, 1985-1986
– Majority Leader, 1987-1988
– Chairman, Joint Legislative Commission on Education, 1987
– Vice Chairman, Joint Legislative Commission on Children, 1987
– Speaker Pro Tempore, January 10, 1991-1992

General Election 1994 - David Muldrow Beasley defeated Nick A. Theodore for the office of governor

1998 – Governor Beasley ran for a second term but was defeated by James Hovis Hodges

David Muldrow Beasley was born on February 26, 1957 in Lamar, SC, the son of Richard Lee Beasley and Jacqueline (Blackwell) Beasley. He graduated from Lamar High School in 1975, then attended the Capitol Page School in Washington, DC while serving as a page in the U.S. Congress. He attended Clemson University 1976-1978.

David Muldrow Beasley began his political career as a member of the Democratic Party, but switched to the Republican Party in September of 1991, three years before his election as governor. His first run for public office came in 1978, when, as a 21-year-old junior attending Clemson University, he unexpectedly won a seat in the SC House of Representatives. He later graduated from the University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina School of Law.

David Muldrow Beasley married Mary Wood Payne. They had four children.

In the 1978 general election, David Muldrow Beasley was first elected to represent the SC House District No. 56, which included part of Darlington County and part of Marlboro County, of the:
- 103rd General Assembly that met from 1979-1980
- 104th General Assembly that met from 1981-1982
- 105th General Assembly that met from 1983-1984
- 106th General Assembly that met from 1985-1986
- 107th General Assembly that met from 1987-1988
- 108th General Assembly that met from 1989-1990
- 109th General Assembly that met from 1991-1992 - elected Speaker Pro Tempore of the House

David Muldrow Beasley served on the Board of Trustees for Francis Marion College (1988-1991) and the University of South Carolina (1990-1991)

In the 1994 general election, David Muldrow Beasley was elected Governor of South Carolina, and he was inaugurated on January 11, 1995. He only served one term and left office on January 13, 1999. During his first year, Gov. Beasley pushed for adoption of the Enterprise Zone Act of 1995 to help target economic growth where it was most needed. If offered businesses incentives to locate or expand in depressed areas of the state. The program helped produce 24,000 new jobs statewide and more than $5 billion in investment. He instituted major changes in the Department of Social Services which made job training and career counseling mandatory. Time limits were put on benefits, irregardless of the number of children affected.

He asked all state agencies, except the Departments of Commerce and Education, to cut their budgets by five per cent, giving property owners a $203 million tax cut but no tax cut to those who did not own property.

Gov. Beasley switched sides during the debate over flying the Confederate Battle Flag over the capitol building in Columbia. It had flown there for decades, signifying the heritage of South Carolina as the first state to secede from the Union in 1861 and later to join the Confederate States of America. Blacks in the legislature had made it a political issue and the NAACP called for an economic boycott of the state. This issue has caused a major split in the Democratic Party of the state and has forced many from the party into the Republican ranks. When Beasley switched on the issue, it signed his death warrant in SC politics. He was defeated in his re-election bid by Democrat James Hovis Hodges.

On March 1, 2002, David Muldrow Beasley was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Thomas G. Thompson, to head a national committee on rural health. The committee was created in 1987 and advises the U.S. secretary on health issues affecting rural communities.

David Muldrow Beasley was born in Lamar, SC. He attended both Clemson University and the University of South Carolina, receiving his bachelor’s degree from the latter institution in 1979 and a law degree from the University of South Carolina Law School in 1983. He served in the SC House of Representatives from 1979 to 1992--as Majority Whip from 1985 to 1986, Majority Leader from 1987 to 1988, and Speaker Pro Tempore from 1991 to 1992. Beasley's gubernatorial administration focused on economic development, welfare reform, crime, prison reform, and education. Pro-business initiatives, including the Enterprise Zone Act of 1995, resulted in more than $11 billion in capital investments and the addition of 50,000 jobs in South Carolina. The Family Independence Act of 1995 placed general time limits on benefits to welfare recipients and made job training mandatory. With respect to education, Beasley's agenda included implementation of a statewide educational technology plan, increased teacher pay, and higher levels of standards and accountability. Beasley also served on the National Governors Association's Executive Committee and was elected Chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 1997. In 1998, he was defeated for re-election to a second gubernatorial term. The following year, he was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. In 2002, then-Secretary Tommy Thompson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services named Beasley Chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health, which advises the Secretary on health issues affecting rural communities.

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