Jay Lucas
Jay Lucas.jpg
60th Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives
In office
December 2, 2014 – May 12, 2022
Preceded byBobby Harrell
Succeeded byMurrell Smith
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
from the 65th district
Assumed office
December 1, 1998
Preceded byMichael Baxley
Personal details
James Howle Lucas

(1957-08-11) August 11, 1957 (age 65)
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Tracy Deglman
EducationUniversity of South Carolina (BA, MPA, JD)

James Howle "Jay" Lucas (born August 11, 1957) is an American politician and attorney.[1] He is a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from the 65th District, serving since 1999. Lucas is a Republican.[2]

Lucas was elected Speaker of the House in December 2014 after the resignation of Bobby Harrell.[3] On March 15, 2022, he announced his decision to not run for reelection to the South Carolina House. He was succeeded as speaker by Murrell Smith.[4]

Political Career

Lucas's political career began in the 1980's as he held various local positions. From 1982 to 1984, he served as the financial director for Bennettsville. From 1984 to 1986, he was county administrator of Fairfield County. From 1990 to 1994, he was the county attorney for Darlington County, and from 1995 to 1996, was a judge for Hartsville in Darlington.[1]

Lucas entered state level politics in 1998 when he became the Republican nominee for South Carolina House of Representatives District 65, which was being vacated by incumbent Democrat Michael Baxley. On November 3, 1998, Lucas defeated Democratic nominee Tony Floyd by less than forty votes.[5] He became the first Republican to hold the seat since the Reconstruction era.[6]

On December 2, 2014, Lucas became the 60th Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives following the resignation of Speaker Bobby Harrell.[3] He would hold the position of Speaker for the next eight years. He retired from the position on May 12, 2022.[4] The house elected Murrell Smith as Lucas' successor.[7]


  1. ^ a b "South Carolina Legislature Online - Member Biography". www.scstatehouse.gov. Retrieved 2018-05-18.
  2. ^ "James Lucas". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "New speaker's political savvy springs from small-town roots". thestate. Retrieved 2018-05-18.
  4. ^ a b Adcocx, Seanna (March 15, 2022). "Bowing out, SC House Speaker Jay Lucas won't seek reelection, ending 24-year career". The Post and Courier. Retrieved April 1, 2022.((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "South Carolina Election Returns". scvotes.org. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  6. ^ Pye, Jana E. (December 8, 2015). "Meet the Dancers!". News and Press. Archived from the original on October 20, 2020. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  7. ^ Greene, Mary. "SC House unanimously elects next Speaker". WISTV. WISTV. Retrieved 29 April 2022.
Political offices Preceded byBobby Harrell Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives 2014–present Incumbent