Robert (RJ) J. May, III (R-SH088)
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Capitol: 803.212.6726
FAX: 803.734.2925
District: 803.470.4482
South Carolina House of Representatives
Room 323-A Blatt Building 1105 Pendleton Street
Columbia, SC 29201

District Office:
PO Box 85924
Lexington, SC 29073
Elected: 2020    Next Election: 2024
Spouse: Beth   DOB: 10/18/1986
Committee Assignments
MemberSubcommittee on Environmental Affairs
MemberHouse Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs
Counties Representing


RJ May's entire life has been about making things happen and about triumphing over challenges.

He was born in Newport News, Virginia. His parents divorced when he was young, leaving RJ and his younger sister with a mother whose drug habit soon escalated into drug dealing.

He experienced things as a child most of us only know about from TV shows and movies. When he was 13, RJ heard a drive-by shooting and saw the aftermath. Around 14, he witnessed a man stabbed to death-and later testified in court. And at 15, he performed CPR on a man who suffered a massive heart attack, keeping him alive until paramedics arrived.

In time, his mother's drug dealing became too much to bear. So, he and his sister moved in with their father and stepmother, finally receiving the loving home they'd been missing.

Another person might have let a childhood like that bring him down. But not RJ May. He played sports, was active in JROTC, in student government, and earned one of his high school's largest college scholarship bundles up to that point.

RJ wanted to carry on his family's legacy of military service. Both grandfathers were Marines who served with distinction - his paternal grandfather in the Pacific Theater in World War II and his maternal grandfather in Korea and Vietnam. RJ dreamed of becoming a Marine officer himself. He even declined an appointment to the United States Military Academy to accept a 4-year Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (Marine Corps Option) scholarship at the University of South Carolina.

That brought him to the Palmetto State. RJ enrolled at UofSC to receive both academic and military training. But again, his path abruptly changed.

Shortly into the program, he sustained a serious back injury that required several painful operations and kept him in bed for the better part of a semester. RJ was disenrolled from the program and separated from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves with an entry level separation.

But once again, he rose above this new difficulty. If he couldn't serve his country in uniform, he still might serve in America's diplomatic ranks. So, he turned to studying the Middle East, including six months at the prestigious American University of Dubai.

RJ returned to South Carolina and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UofSC in 2009 with a double major in political science and criminal justice.

Interested in campaigns from an early age, he became political director on Congressman Joe Wilson's 2010 re-election race. RJ discovered he had a knack for helping candidates win elections, and others recognized it, too. Under the direction of the conservative GOPAC group, RJ was sent to Wisconsin during the recall of Governor Scott Walker to help defend a vacated legislative seat.

Afterward, RJ received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship and attended Tel Aviv University in Israel, where he received his master's degree in security and diplomacy.

RJ soon realized he could help shape political discourse and advance conservative principles by helping elect candidates to public office who shared his beliefs.

Back home, he worked on congressional and statewide campaigns. That caught the eye of the South Carolina Club for Growth, the state's leading conservative watchdog group, which named him its executive director. In that role, he led the organization's legislative efforts to lower taxes, reduce wasteful spending, eliminate job killing red tape, and make government more efficient and accountable. RJ also led the organization's campaign arm, recruiting conservative candidates to challenge RINO Republicans. RJ even played an important part in Ralph Norman's 2017 special election to the U. S. House of Representatives. He followed that up with managing a gubernatorial campaign in 2018.

But, RJ wanted to do even more to promote the conservative cause in South Carolina. So he founded Ivory Tusk Consulting, a Lexington County-based agency that assists conservative candidates in becoming public servants. With the motto, "Liberals need not apply" it currently works with dozens of South Carolina's leading conservatives.

Along the way, RJ's personal life also changed. While at UofSC, he got to know Beth Slawson at her birthday party. A date followed, and the two eventually married in 2016. Their son Bobby arrived in 2018.

When it came time to find a place to settle down, the May family had no trouble deciding where they wanted to live. Lexington County's friendly atmosphere, conservative values, low taxes and excellent schools made it the perfect location to both start a business and begin a family. The Mays currently live nestled between Red Bank and South Congaree, where they share their home with dogs Riley and Veto.

It's a long way from his early days in that drug-infested Newport News neighborhood. For more than three decades, RJ May has been making things happen in his life. Now, he's ready to make positive things happen for you, your family, and neighbors as our next State Representative in Columbia.