Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. (b. 1940) has served South Carolina as a state legislator, congressman, and governor. The collection is currently being processed, and once opened for research, will provide insight into Campbell’s career and his role in the ascendancy of the Republican Party in the state.
Serving in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1971 to 1974 and in the South Carolina Senate from 1976 to 1978, Campbell represented Greenville County and became only the fifth non-lawyer to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 1978 the popular solon was elected to represent South Carolina’s Fourth District in Congress, becoming the first Republican to represent that district since Reconstruction. The conservative Republican served in Congress for four terms, and developed expertise in issues regarding the handicapped, child support, voting rights, and particularly the textile industry. At the same time, he was active in national Republican Party work and helped direct the Reagan campaign’s efforts in the South.
Campbell’s election as governor in 1986 ended the perception of South Carolina as a Democratic state. A strong leader who emphasized economic development, Campbell negotiated an agreement with BMW to locate its first manufacturing plant outside Bavaria in upstate South Carolina near Greer. Perhaps the greatest achievements of his two terms as governor were his successful handling of the Hurricane Hugo disaster and a sweeping revision of the structure of state government that provided greater efficiency and accountability. Campbell also enjoyed success with issues including budgeting and literacy and education. He was visible nationally as a leader of the National Governors’ Association Task Force on Education and as chairman of the National Education Goals Panel. He served as a regional and national chairman in the Bush campaigns of 1988 and 1992, and his reputation within the Republican Party led to his being considered as a vice presidential candidate in 1988, 1992, and 1996.