Born: August 11, 1957, Columbia, SC
Family: Son of Bobby and Shirley Lucas.
Married to Tracy Ann Deglman on August 17, 1990
Children: Will Lucas
Education: Univ. of S.C., B.A., 1975, M.P.A., 1981 J.D., 1987
- Financial Director, City of Bennetsville, 1982-84
- County Administrator, Fairfield County, 1986-86
- County Attorney, Darlington County 1990-94
- City Judge, City of Hartsville, 1995-96
- Partner Lucas, Warr & White, Attorneys at Law, 1994
- Earle E. Morris, Jr., Public Policy Award
- Professional of the Year, Mental Health Association for Darlington County
- Legislator of the Year: Paul’s Foundation
- S.C. Recreation, Parks & Tourism
- S.C. State Firefighter’s Association
- Member, Hartsville Lions Club
- Member, Hartsville Lodge #173
- Member, Emmanuel Baptist Church
- Served in House 1999-current
- Elected Speaker Pro Tempore November 17, 2010
- Elected Speaker December 2, 2014
- Former Board Member, Hartsville Chamber of Commerce
- Former Chairman, Hartsville National League
- Former Member, S.C. Solicitor’s Association
- Former Co-Chairman, S.C. House Rural Caucus
- Former Chairman, Darlington County Republican Party
- Former Chairman, Darlington County Coordinating Council
Growing up in the small rural town of Hartsville, House Speaker Jay Lucas learned early on that success requires hard work and dedication. Born to Bobby and Shirley Lucas, Jay’s parents instilled in him the importance of personal responsibility – a trait that would lay a firm foundation for his life in public service.
A proud Gamecock, Speaker Lucas received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of South Carolina in 1975, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He also received a master’s degree in public administration in 1981. Upon graduation, Jay immediately went to work as the Financial Director for the City of Bennettsville prior to working as the County Administrator for Fairfield County. Having high hopes of eventually practicing law, Jay applied this valuable work experience and knowledge to his future education.
Jay received his law degree from the University of South Carolina in 1987. He graduated third in his class and was the managing editor of the South Carolina Law Review. He served as the Darlington County attorney and a City Judge for the City of Hartsville before becoming a partner with Lucas, Warr and White in 1994.
When former state Representative Michael Baxley retired in 1998, Jay took the opportunity to fulfill another life-long goal and run for office. Given House District 65 had not been represented by a Republican since Reconstruction, Jay knew his election would be an uphill battle. Based on his performance in this election, Jay earned the nickname “Landslide Lucas” from former Speaker David Wilkins because he won by a mere handful of votes. Jay currently represents portions of Darlington, Kershaw, Lancaster, and Chesterfield.
After serving several terms in office, Jay was elected Chairman of the Darlington County Republican Party. In November 2010, his colleagues in the House elected him as Speaker Pro Tempore. Jay never dreamed that this position would give him the opportunity to eventually become Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives.
Jay believes that he has a responsibility as Speaker to enact reforms that will better the lives of all South Carolina families. Throughout his years in public service, Jay has become the proud recipient of several prestigious awards. Earlier this year, he received the Wilkins Award for Excellence in Legislative Leadership from the Riley Institute and the Jimmy Newsom Signature Award for his contributions to public education in Darlington County. He has also been recognized by the Mental Health Association; South Carolina Chamber of Commerce; South Carolina Recreation, Parks, and Tourism; South Carolina Solicitors Association; South Carolina Farm Bureau; South Carolina State Firefighter’s Association; and the Institute for Child Success.
Jay is married to Tracy Ann Deglman, a dental hygienist who continues to offer him strength and support in every endeavor. They have one son, Will, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute who recently earned his master’s degree at North Carolina State University.
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