State Senator Katrina Shealy is a lifelong conservative leader and business manager with a proven record of creating jobs, managing businesses, and promoting good government in South Carolina.
Elected in November 2012, Senator Shealy serves as the only female in the South Carolina Senate and offers her wealth of business experience to our state’s upper chamber. In the Senate, she has led efforts to eliminate the state income tax; and, for her efforts, Shealy received the South Carolina Friend of the Taxpayer Award in 2013. She has also led efforts to reform the South Carolina’s Department of Social Services to truly protect our most vulnerable children; and, for her efforts, Shealy was recognized as Legislator of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers in 2015. With fellow legislators, Senator Shealy fought hard to strengthen the penalties for those who are convicted of domestic violence crimes. Senator Shealy even stood before her peers and shared her sister’s own story of domestic violence – one that almost cost her sister her life. Senator Shealy’s efforts paid off, with the passage of legislation enforcing stronger penalties for criminal domestic violence in South Carolina. For her efforts, Senator Shealy was recognized as the 2015 Legislator of the Year by the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse.
A consultant with Keenan and Suggs Insurance, Senator Shealy helps other job-creating individuals and businesses daily to overcome government red-tape.
Senator Shealy’s strong work ethic and understanding of small businesses were instilled from a young age by her mother and father, who owned and operated the Leesville Piggly Wiggly, where she worked as a cashier starting at the age of 13. Her family went through the ups and downs of owning and growing a business when they built another grocery store in Batesburg. Not only did she learn how to deal with government regulations and the challenges that come with creating jobs, making payroll and adhering to a budget; but, she also learned the importance of treating all customers and neighbors with utmost respect.
Now, as the wife of another small business owner, Sen. Shealy knows firsthand the difficulties businesses face in this poor economy.
Committed to our youth, Senator Shealy annually awards scholarships to two deserving students from her district for college expenses. She is an active member of the Advisory Board and the former Chairman of the Board of the South Carolina Friends of Juvenile Justice. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Lexington County Department of Social Services and the Girl Scouts of the Congaree and is a donor to the Dixie Youth Baseball Association.
Committed to our most vulnerable and seeing that a need was not being met for foster children and children in group homes, Shealy formed Katrina’s Kids, a 501(c)3 foundation to fill the gap and give these children the opportunities for summer camps, academic programs, sports programs and music programs.
A passionate supporter of our armed services, Senator Shealy hosts an annual luncheon to recognize real heroes, South Carolina’s Fallen Soldiers. The event shares the stories of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and offer the most sincere appreciation to their family and friends, on behalf of our grateful State of South Carolina.
With a strong interest in our local healthcare, Senator Shealy serves on the Advisory Board of the Women of Hope, an outreach of the Lexington Medical Center Foundation. Her work has been recognized by receiving the Lexington Medical Foundation’s Mission Achiever Award and being named a Foundation Ambassador. She and her husband, Jimmy, also are regular contributors to the American Cancer Society.
Working hard to ensure future generations enjoy a better quality of life than we do, Senator Shealy co-chairs the Green Schools Caucus. She has sponsored two Green Apples Days of Service in her district – planting a rain garden at Gilbert Primary School and building a green house from 2-liter bottles at Carolina Springs Elementary School. She has fought to keep local control of waste management and stop the in-flow of waste from other states. For her work, the South Carolina Wildlife Federation awarded her as the Legislative Conservationist of the Year in 2014, and the Saluda River Trust Unlimited awarded her as the Conservationist of the Year in 2013.
Senator Shealy often shares her story of overcoming adversity and never giving up to groups across the state and country. She has recently addressed students at the University of South Carolina Honors College, Columbia College, Coastal Carolina University, Clemson University’s Empowering Girls Program and Palmetto Girls State.
Senator Shealy serves as the South Carolina State Director of Women in Government, the South Carolina State Director of the National Foundation of Women Legislators and on the Health and Human Services Committee for the Southeastern Legislative Conference. She has also represented South Carolina at the Women in Government Conference in Boston, the Southeastern Legislative Conferences in Mobile and Little Rock, and the Friedman Foundation Institute in Charlotte. She also also served on Children Services panel for the National Conference of State Legislators and on the Legislative Review panel for the Southeastern Legislative Conference.
The 1st Vice Chair of the South Carolina Republican Party, Senator Shealy is one of South Carolina’s most active Republican leaders. Her tireless work for conservative candidates and policies led her to being named the 2013 Recipient of the South Carolina Republican Party’s Terry Haskins Award and the 2013 Recipient of the Lexington County Republican Party’s Stateswomen of the Year Award. The former Chairman of the Lexington County Republican Party, Shealy led the area’s GOP Victory efforts in 2004 and 2006, while raising a tremendous amount of money to advance reforms at all levels of government. Seeking to get more neighbors involved in the political process, Senator Shealy helped start the West Metro Republican Women’s group, of which she has served as president for two years. Her desire to get more citizens involved in the cause of smaller government and fiscal responsibility has led to her active participation in the TEA Party movement to help fix our nation’s debt problem.
Senator Shealy has been recognized and honored by multiple local, state and national organizations and media outlets for her work. A list of awards and accolades can be viewed below.
A lifelong resident of Lexington County, Senator Shealy is a graduate of Batesburg-Leesville High School and the Emerging Leaders Program at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virgina. A 2013 University of South Carolina Education Fellow, Senator Shealy and her husband have raised their family of three daughters and five grandsons here. The Shealys are active members of St. James Lutheran Church of Red Bank.
- 15 National Political Women of the Year, Glamour Magazine
- South Carolina Midlands’ 50 Most Influential People, Columbia Business Monthly