Yancey McGill
J. Yancey McGill.jpg
90th Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
In office
June 18, 2014 – January 14, 2015
GovernorNikki Haley
Preceded byGlenn F. McConnell
Succeeded byHenry McMaster
President pro tempore of the South Carolina Senate
In office
June 18, 2014[a]
Preceded byJohn E. Courson
Succeeded byHugh K. Leatherman Sr.
Member of the South Carolina Senate
from the 32nd district
In office
January 10, 1989 – June 18, 2014
Preceded byFrank McGill
Succeeded byRonnie Sabb
Personal details
John Yancey McGill

(1952-09-18) September 18, 1952 (age 69)
Kingstree, South Carolina, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic (before 2016)
Republican (2016–present)
EducationFrancis Marion University

John Yancey McGill (born September 18, 1952) is an American politician from South Carolina. He was a member of the state Senate from 1989 to 2014. He served as the 90th Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina from June 2014 to January 2015. As of 2022, he is the last Democrat to hold statewide office in South Carolina.


McGill was born on September 18, 1952, in Kingstree, South Carolina.[1] He attended, but did not graduate from The Citadel. He also attended Francis Marion College.[1]

He is a real estate broker and homebuilder.[2]

Political career

McGill was formerly a Democratic member of the South Carolina Senate, representing the 32nd District from 1989 to June 18, 2014.[1] His district, which covered Williamsburg and Georgetown counties, was heavily Democratic.[3]

McGill became lieutenant governor after Glenn F. McConnell resigned to become president of The College of Charleston, becoming the first Democrat to hold the office since 1995. Although a Democrat, McGill ran unopposed for Senate president pro tempore in the Republican-controlled state Senate, winning a position usually held by a senator from the majority party. Immediately upon election, as planned, McConnell resigned, then McGill resigned, automatically being elevated to the post of lieutenant governor under the order of succession set forth in the state Constitution.[4]

McGill chose not to run for election to a full term.[3] Republican Henry McMaster succeeded him as lieutenant governor on January 14, 2015, having won the November 2014 election.

In January 2015, McMaster appointed McGill to be the State Director of South Carolina's Office on Aging. The position paid $122,000 a year.[5] He stayed at the position for eight months before stepping down, retiring to his family farm in Kingstree.[3][6]

In March 2016, McGill left the Democratic Party and announced his intention to run for governor of South Carolina as a Republican in the 2018 election. He had been a conservative Democrat for most of his career; he opposed abortion and supported curbs on government spending and regulation. He said that he hadn't changed parties sooner because his state senate district was too Democratic for him to be elected as a Republican.[3] McGill was considered a long-shot contender in the Republican gubernatorial race, raising less money than McMaster or Catherine Templeton.[7]

On June 12, 2018, McGill placed last in the gubernatorial Republican primary, receiving 1.7% percent of the vote. He led in Williamsburg County, his home county.[8]

South Carolina Gubernatiorial Primary (Republican), 2018
Candidate Votes %
Henry McMaster 155,072 42.3
John Warren 102,006 27.8
Catherine Templeton 78,432 21.4
Kevin L. Bryant 24,699 6.7
Yancey McGill 6,349 1.7

Personal life

McGill married Pamela Jean Fennell on May 18, 1973; they have three children.


  1. ^ McGill assumed the office of lieutenant governor through briefly serving as the president pro tempore


  1. ^ a b c Former Senator John Yancey McGill, South Carolina State Senate.
  2. ^ Andy Shain, Yancey McGill: Surgery delayed filing campaign report for South Carolina governor, Post & Courier (April 17, 2017).
  3. ^ a b c d Andrew Shain, EXCLUSIVE: Former Lt. Gov. McGill running for governor as a Republican, The State (March 21, 2016).
  4. ^ Andre Shain, After delay, Democrat McGill becomes SC interim lieutenant governor, The State (June 18, 2014).
  5. ^ Jamie Self, Ex-SC lieutenant governor, senator gets $122,000 state job, The State (January 29, 2015).
  6. ^ Michaele Duke, McGill retires after meeting goals - Director of Office on Aging comes home, Kingstree News (August 10, 2015).
  7. ^ Andy Shain, Yancey McGill raises less cash than 2018 South Carolina governor rivals,Post & Courier (April 15, 2017).
  8. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah; Bloch, Matthew; Lee, Jasmine C. (12 June 2018). "South Carolina Primary Election Results". The New York Times.
Political offices Preceded byGlenn F. McConnell Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina 2014–2015 Succeeded byHenry McMaster