Tom Rice ContactBack to top
Address: 325 CHOB, DC 20515
Phone: (843) 445-6459
Address: 2411 North Oak Street, Myrtle Beach SC 29577
Phone: (843) 679-9781
Fax: (843) 679-9783
Address: 1831 West Evans Street, Florence SC 29501
Tom Rice StaffBack to top
Tom Rice CommitteesBack to top
Tom Rice BiographyBack to top
- Elected: 2012, 1st term.
- District: South Carolina 7
- Born: Aug. 04, 1957, Charleston
- Home: Myrtle Beach
U. of SC, B.A. 1975; M.A. 1979; J.D. 1982
- Professional Career:
Practicing atty., 1984-2012; Staff accountant, Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, 1982-84.
- Political Career:
Horry Cnty. Cncl., 2010-12
- Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
- Family: Married (Wrenzie Rice); 3 children
Republican Tom Rice won South Carolina’s newest district in 2012 with a focus on his business background and conservative politics in the growing region. He also secured a key endorsement from GOP Gov. Nikki Haley.
Growing up amid the sand dunes of Myrtle Beach, Rice spent every day playing on the beach. His mother was a schoolteacher, and his father, a repairman, died when he was young. Rice worked every summer after he turned 12, busing tables at the local tourist restaurants. At the University of South Carolina, he studied accounting and volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters. He stayed at the university until he earned his law degree, returning home every summer to work at the beach.
Rice moved to Charlotte, N.C., after college to work for the accounting giant Deloitte. After gaining some experience on larger cases, he returned home to practice tax law and eventually open his own practice. He and his wife, Wrenzie, raised their three sons in Myrtle Beach, teaching them how to play golf, hunt, and fish. Rice also served on the board of the Myrtle Beach Haven homeless shelter and, during his 10-year term as president, helped it build a new, expanded facility.
Rice ran successfully for Horry County Council chairman in 2010. In that role, he focused on rebuilding the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation and bringing jobs to the county. He said his focus in Congress will be similar. “This country is in a critical state,” Rice told National Journal. “We have to change, or we will bankrupt ourselves.” To bring jobs back from overseas, he argues, the government must create a more business-friendly climate by slashing regulations.
In 2012, Rice entered the crowded GOP primary field for the state’s newly added district and came in second to former Lt. Gov. André Bauer. His opponent, the conservative favorite, had come under attack for comparing public school children who receive free lunches to stray animals who should not be fed. Bauer raised almost double the amount of campaign cash as Rice, including the $100,000 Rice loaned his own campaign, and labeled him a “moderate” in a wave of attack ads. But in the runoff, Rice crushed Bauer, 56% to 44%, thanks in part to a powerful endorsement from the popular Haley.
In the general election, Rice faced ex-Georgia state Rep. Gloria Tinubu, who had been the underdog in the Democratic primary running on a platform of union advocacy. Rice ran on the issues of job creation, increased military spending, protection of gun owners’ rights, and simplification of immigration laws. His base was in Horry County, and he got support from the state tea party and the National Right to Life Committee. He also campaigned with House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and veteran GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. He won, again by 56% to 44%.Show Less