SC Statehouse for sale:

State House for Sale: The Top 10 legislative spenders

October 6, 2013 

Rep. Kirkman Finlay, R-Richland (on left)   Senate Minority Lead

Rep. Kirkman Finlay, R-Richland (on left) Senate Minority Leader Nikki Setzler, D-Lexington (on right)

S.C. legislators are paid salaries of $10,400 a year, excluding benefits that can add, in some cases, tens of thousands more for their two- or four-year terms in the House and Senate, respectively. But many legislators spend far more to win those jobs. A look at how much the top 10 lawmakers said they spent from their campaign accounts to win or hold their seats in the most recent elections. (The numbers are from the most recent election cycle for the House, 2010-12, and the Senate, 2009-2012, plus the first two fund-raising quarters of 2013.)

1. House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston — $670,756.61

2. Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort — $632,273.60

3. Senate President Pro Tem John Courson, R-Richland — $470,372.36

4. Sen. Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence — $419,799.14

5. Sen. Paul Thurmond, R-Charleston — $373,380.06

6. Senate Minority Leader Nikki Setzler, D-Lexington — $366,450.03

7. Sen. Ross Turner, R-Greenville — $312,326.41

8. Rep. Kirkman Finlay, R-Richland — $292,919.89

9. Sen. Yancey McGill, D-Williamsburg — $292,569.74

10. Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg —$252,764.23

Total for all legislators — $12,514,723.35

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