South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond 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.
From 1996 to 2002, Secretary Hammond was elected, then re-elected as Spartanburg County’s Clerk of Court. On November 5th, 2002, he was elected as South Carolina’s 41st Secretary of State. In 2006, Secretary Hammond again claimed victory. In 2010, Secretary Hammond won a third term of office. South Carolinians again selected Mark Hammond as their Secretary of State in 2014, with nearly 60 percent of the votes.
Secretary Hammond is dedicated to efficiency, accountability, transparency and customer service. Some of his more notable successes as Secretary of State include:
- Initiating reforms targeting charity and telemarketing abuses, collecting more than $1.3 million in fines to date;
- Requesting and implementing improvements to the South Carolina Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act to facilitate enforcement of the Act, assuring charitable donors more accountability and transparency from nonprofit organizations;
- 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;
- Championing for and getting new legislation offering clear statutory definitions for notarial acts as well as other needed updates;
- Seizing over $51.5 million in counterfeit merchandise, resulting in the arrest of more than 550 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 fourth term in office is to continue to make improvements ensuring that the Office of the Secretary of State is efficient and customer-friendly, with easy access to the services provided.
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. 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. The Hammonds are members of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg.