Quick Facts

Hometown Charleston, SC
Family Married to Catherine Smith Harrell (Cathy)
  Children: Trey and Charlotte
Born March 7, 1956 in Orangeburg, SC
  Raised in Charleston, SC
Education Middleton High School
(Charleston County public schools)
  The University of South Carolina; degree in Business Administration
Career Owner and operator of a State Farm Insurance Agency for more than 30 years

First and foremost, Bobby Harrell is a small business owner.  With South Carolina State Legislators serving as part-time citizen lawmakers, Bobby’s passion has always been that of an entrepreneur and businessman – which played a major role in shaping his conservative legislative philosophy. 

Originally elected to the State House in 1992, Bobby has been tackling the tough issues to improve the lives of South Carolina families ever since.  Through the years, he has earned a reputation for building bipartisan support for his efforts to create a brighter future for all South Carolinians.

Bobby has maintained a focus on three issues he considers key to our state’s future success: economic development, education and tax reduction.

In 2005, Bobby was elected by his fellow Members to serve as South Carolina’s 59th Speaker of the House.  Prior to that, he served as House Majority Leader from 1997-1999 and as House Ways & Means Committee Chairman from 1999-2005.

Bobby is a reformer who supports open and responsible government by constantly looking for new ways to increase transparency and accountability.  As Speaker, Harrell’s political history demonstrates that he is a leader who can get things done. Under his leadership the House successfully passed Tort Reform, Workers’ Comp Reform, billions of dollars in Tax Relief and multiple Government Restructuring initiatives. 

Applying his experience in business to politics, Bobby promotes common sense reforms and conservative fiscal policies.  His work on tax relief, his efforts toward improving educational opportunities for South Carolina families and his sponsorship of major economic development legislation have not gone unnoticed.  Numerous state and national organizations have honored Bobby for his service.

Bobby is a man who places the highest value on family and faith.  He is married to Cathy and is a proud father of their two children, Trey and Charlotte.  Having served as a deacon in his church, the Harrells are members of First Baptist Church in Charleston.

Bobby earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.  Successfully starting several small businesses over the years, he and his wife currently operate a State Farm Insurance Agency.