Todd Rutherford
Minority Leader of the South Carolina House of Representatives
Assumed office
January 8, 2013
Preceded byHarry L. Ott Jr.
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
from the 74th district
Assumed office
December 1, 1998
Preceded byAlma W. Byrd
Personal details
James Todd Rutherford

(1970-10-10) October 10, 1970 (age 52)
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Naida Harris
(m. 2008; div. 2017)

Megan Pinckney
(m. 2020)
EducationHoward University (BA)
University of South Carolina, Columbia (JD)

James Todd Rutherford (born October 10, 1970 in Columbia, South Carolina) is an American politician and Democratic member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, representing the 74th District since 1999. He is the Minority Leader of the House.[1]

Early life and education

Rutherford graduated from W.J. Keenan High School in 1988. Rutherford earned his bachelor's degree from Howard University in 1992. He then worked as Legislative Assistant to Congressman Robin Tallon before earning his Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1996.

After passing the bar, he worked as Assistant Solicitor and Special Prosecutor of Narcotic and Drug Cases in the Fifth Circuit Solicitor's Office. In 1998, he founded the Rutherford Law Firm.

South Carolina General Assembly

Rutherford was elected to the South Carolina General Assembly in 1998 to represent House District 74. He initially served on the Military, Medical and Municipal Affairs Committee before joining the Judiciary Committee in 2002. Rutherford currently serves on the Ways and Means Committee and the Ethics Committee. In 2013, Rutherford was elected Minority Leader.

Rutherford was named Young Democrat of the year in 1999.

In 2007 Rutherford introduced a bill to replace the Confederate battle flag with the South Carolina state flag. However, the bill never received a hearing.[2] In June 2015 the flag was removed with the overwhelming support of the House Democratic Caucus.[3]

Rutherford is a leading proponent of medical marijuana in the South Carolina General Assembly. In 2014, Rutherford filed the "Put Patients First Act," the first of its kind in South Carolina.[4]


  1. ^ "Minority Leader J. Todd Rutherford". South Carolina Legislature online. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  2. ^ Adcox, Seanna (June 20, 2015). "South Carolina legislator: Take down Confederate flag". AP. WoodTV8. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  3. ^ "South Carolina House votes to remove Confederate flag from statehouse grounds". The Washington Post. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  4. ^ Hutchins, Corey. "With new legislation, activists hopeful S.C. will allow medical marijuana". Charleston City Paper. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
South Carolina House of Representatives Preceded byHarry L. Ott Jr. Minority Leader of the South Carolina House of Representatives 2013–present Incumbent