Mark Hammond, Secretary of State
South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond was born in Lancaster, South Carolina, and grew up in Spartanburg, where he graduated from Dorman High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Newberry College in 1986, and went on to obtain a Masters in Education from Clemson University in 1988.
Secretary Hammond completed special basic training at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy in 1991 and worked as a Criminal Investigator, aiding prosecutors for the 7th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, until 1996. Prior to his service as an investigator, he served as a Juvenile Probation Officer for the South Carolina Department of Youth Services.
From 1996 to 2002, Secretary Hammond was elected, then re-elected as Spartanburg County’s Clerk of Court - the first Republican to be elected to the position since Reconstruction. While in office he implemented initiatives that saved thousands of taxpayer dollars. In June 2002, Secretary Hammond won a three-way statewide primary and runoff to be the Republican Party’s nominee for Secretary of State. On November 5th, 2002, he was elected as South Carolina’s 41st Secretary of State, leading the Republican ticket with over 600,000 votes. Four years later, Secretary Hammond again claimed victory with 61 percent of the vote, the largest margin of victory for an opposed statewide elected official. In 2010, Secretary Hammond won a third term of office by capturing 60.91 percent of the votes.
Secretary Hammond is dedicated to efficiency, accountability, and customer service. Some of his more notable successes as Secretary of State include:
- Initiating reforms targeting charity and telemarketing abuses, collecting more than $1,313,228.00 in fines since July 2003;
- Offering SC Business One Stop (SCBOS), a Web-based program that allows users to electronically register a new or existing business or apply for other licenses with several state agencies at one time
- Offering online search capabilities for boards and commissions vacancies, notaries public, Uniform Commercial Codes filings and recorded statutory liens;
- Seizing over $26 million in counterfeit merchandise, resulting in the arrest of nearly 350 people; and
- Continuing the annual Scrooges and Angels list of charities, and providing the percentage of receipts that actually go toward the charitable cause.
The main objective of Secretary Hammond's third term in office is to work with lawmakers to increase the protections of charitable donors.
Secretary Hammond is an ex-officio member of the South Carolina Consumer Affairs Commission and Legislative Council. He has served as the liaison to the Notary Public Administrators (NPA) section of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), where he has also served on the International Relations Committee, the Standing Committee on Business Services, and the Company Formation Task Force. He served as a delegate to the 2004 and 2008 Republican National Conventions. Mark was named an Outstanding Alumnus by the South Carolina Shrine Bowl for Public Service in 2006; named a Henry Toll Fellow by the Council of State Governments and recipient of the Sesquicentennial Medal of Honor Award – Outstanding Alumni by Newberry College in 2007; a Rising State Leader by the Canadian Embassy and Canada’s network of Consulates General in 2008; and a trustee to Spartanburg Methodist College in 2009.
On a personal note, Secretary Hammond and his wife Ginny have three children – Matthew, Ross, and Grace. They are members of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg.