A man of faith, courage, and deep conviction, Tommy Pope is a proven conservative leader and fighter.
His father was a sheriff, his mother was a school teacher and Tommy Pope was destined to continue their careers in public service. After graduating from Rock Hill High School, Tommy pursued a degree in Business Management at the University of South Carolina. As a freshman, Tommy began working at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) as a “phone boy” — literally, the boy who answered the phones. Throughout his undergraduate years, in addition to his phone boy duties, Tommy ran the blood hounds, cut down marijuana fields and apprehended criminals. By the time he graduated from Carolina in 1984, he had “blue lights in his blood" and soon became a full time agent at SLED.
It was not long after Tommy began his career as a SLED Agent that SLED Chief Pete Strom urged Tommy to go to law school. In 1987 Tommy graduated from South Carolina School of Law, earning his Juris Doctorate degree. Tommy then continued his law enforcement service, first as a legal advisor and then as a prosecutor.
In 1992, when Tommy was only thirty years old, he was elected to serve as the Solicitor of the 16th Judicial Circuit consisting of York and Union counties in South Carolina. While Tommy is most commonly recognized for his 1995 prosecution of Susan Smith for the drowning death of her two children, his legacy as Solicitor goes beyond that. When he was first elected, the 16th Circuit had the worst backlog of criminal cases in the state. Under his guidance, the 16th Circuit overcame that backlog and moved to consistently lead the State in providing effective and timely prosecution of criminal cases. Throughout his tenure as Solicitor, Tommy personally tried numerous murder and death penalty cases. Tommy retired in 2006 and began a new chapter of helping people through the private practice of law. In 2008, Tommy was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor for his dedication and service to the citizens of our State.
In 2010 Tommy was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives and in 2014 Tommy was elected Speaker Pro Tempore by his peers and was reelected in 2016 to serve in that position. Tommy and his wife Kimberly reside in York, South Carolina and have four children and one grandchild.