Sen. Nikki Setzler becomes the longest-serving state senator currently holding office in the nation – Recognized with a Senate Resolution

Sen. Nikki Setzler has become the longest-serving state senator currently holding office in the nation. He was honored with a Senate Resolution Wednesday. The contents of the Resolution are below:

To Recognize and honor Senator Nikki Giles Setzler for his exemplary record of service to the people and the state of South Carolina and for becoming the longest-serving state senator currently holding office in the nation.

Whereas, the members of the South Carolina Senate are pleased to recognize their colleague, Senator Nikki Giles Setzler, for becoming the longest‑serving state senator currently holding office in the United States; and

Whereas, Senator Setzler was born in Asheville, North Carolina to Verna Parker Setzler and Harry Earl Setzler. He graduated from Brookland Cayce High School in 1963, from the University of South Carolina in 1968, and from the University of South Carolina Law School in 1971. He began his legal career as an associate with Attorney Harry M. Lightsey, Jr. before opening his own law office in 1973, where he continues to practice today as the West Columbia firm of Setzler and Scott; and

Whereas, Senator Setzler’s interest in politics sparked during his initial State House work as a page. He began his tenure as a member of the South Carolina Senate in 1976 when he was elected to a multimember district that included Aiken, Bamberg, Barnwell, Edgefield, and Lexington counties. Today, he represents Senate District 26, a single member district, that includes parts of Lexington, Aiken, Calhoun, and Saluda counties; and

Whereas, Senator Setzler, a true statesman, learned his craft from historical legislative figures with whom he served, including The Honorable Sol Blatt, The Honorable Marion Gressette, and many others. In totality, more than one hundred forty individuals have been elected Senator during his forty‑six years in the chamber. He is currently the second‑longest serving Senator in South Carolina’s history behind Senator Marion Gressette; and

Whereas, Senator Setzler served as Chairman of the Senate Education Committee from 1988 to 2000. He served eight years at the helm of the Senate Democratic Caucus as Minority Leader; and

Whereas, Senator Setzler’s passion for the legislative process and bipartisan consensus‑building has led to reformative legislation, including the Education Improvement Act, four‑year‑old kindergarten, improvement of the fiduciary health and governance of the South Carolina Retirement System, restructuring of the Department of Transportation Commission and funding for road and infrastructure improvement, increasing of teacher salaries, and reducing of standardized testing pressure on teachers and students. He committed more than two years to fight for accountability from SCANA and Santee Cooper after the V.C. Summer nuclear project abandonment; and

Whereas, his priority is a deep commitment to his constituents. He has worked to bring jobs and increase quality of life by fostering economic investments including Michelin, Amazon, Boeing, BMW, and many others across the State. He continues to play a key role in the development of the State Farmers Market in Lexington County; and

Whereas, over the years, Senator Setzler has received a number of honors and awards. He was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of South Carolina in 2008 and an Honorary Doctor of Education from Columbia College in 1997. As a civic leader, Senator Setzler has served in many community organizations, including the West Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Cayce West Columbia Lions Club, and the Lexington County Development Corporation, as a member of the Security Federal Bank Advisory Board and the YMCA Advisory Board; and

Whereas, after the resignation of North Dakota’s Senator Ray Holmberg on June 1, 2022, Senator Setzler became the country’s longest‑serving incumbent state senator; and

Whereas, Senator Setzler is married to his college sweetheart, Ada Jane Taylor, and together they have four daughters, Tara Nikole, Jamie Leona, Sabra Taylor, and Amber Jane, and nine grandchildren; and

Whereas, Senator Setzler’s continued dedication to public service sets an example for his constituents and fellow legislators. The members of the South Carolina Senate greatly appreciate the commitment that Senator Setzler has shown in serving the people and the State of South Carolina. Now therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate:

That the members of the South Carolina Senate, by this resolution, recognize and honor Senator Setzler for his exemplary service to the people of the State of South Carolina and for becoming the longest‑serving state senator currently holding office in the nation.

Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to Senator Setzler.

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