Hugh Thompson Rice Jr. (born August 4, 1957) is an American lawyer and politician serving as the U.S. representative for South Carolina’s 7th congressional district. The district serves most of the northeastern corner of the state and includes Myrtle Beach, the Grand Strand, Florence, Cheraw, and Darlington. A Republican, Rice was first elected in 2012 and was a member of the freshman class chosen to sit at the House Republican leadership table. Rice was reelected in 2014, defeating Democratic nominee Gloria Bromell Tinubu in a rematch of the 2012 election.[1][2]

Rice was one of ten Republicans to vote to impeach Donald Trump in the second impeachment of Donald Trump.[3][4] In January 2021, the South Carolina Republican Party censured him for voting for the impeachment.[5] In 2022, Trump endorsed a Rice primary opponent for his seat.[6] Rice lost the Republican nomination in the June 14 primary to South Carolina state representative Russell Fry, garnering less than 25% of the vote.[7][8]

Early life, education, and pre-congressional career

Rice was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on August 4, 1957. He was four years old when his parents divorced, and his mother, a teacher, took him and his brother Clay to Myrtle Beach. Rice’s first job was a busboy when he was 12, and he was variously a night shift fry cook, a grocery store bag boy, and miniature golf course manager while still in high school. Rice was 16 when his father died.[citation needed]

Rice was offered a scholarship to Duke University but enrolled at the University of South Carolina, where he earned a bachelor’s degree (B.S.) and in 1979, a master’s degree in accounting. In 1982, he earned a J.D. degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.[citation needed]

After college, Rice worked at the accounting/consulting firm of Deloitte & Touche in Charlotte, where he earned his CPA certificate. In 1985 he returned to Myrtle Beach to practice tax law with the law firm Van Osdell, then established his own practice, Rice & MacDonald, in 1997.[citation needed] He was elected chair of the Horry County Council in 2010, serving until he resigned from the position on December 31, 2012, in order to take his seat in Congress.[9]

U.S. House of Representatives



Rice was elected to the U.S. House in 2012 as the first representative for the newly created 7th district. He defeated Jay Jordan, Randal Wallace, Dick Withington, James Mader, Chad Prosser, Katherine Jenerette, and Renee Culler in the June 12 Republican primary to advance to a runoff. In the June 26 runoff he defeated Andre Bauer. Rice defeated Gloria Bromell Tinubu in the November 6 general election.[2][10]


Rice was reelected in 2014, defeating Bromell Tinubu again, with 60.15% of the vote to her 39.85%.[1]


In December 2012, the House appointed Rice to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the Committee on the Budget and the Committee on Small Business of the 113th Congress.[11][12]

On January 8, 2013, Congressman Sam Graves appointed Rice chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access.[13]

On January 22, 2013, Rice was appointed to the following subcommittees: Highways and Transit, Water Resources and Environment, and Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. He said the appointments would allow him to work for the funding and construction of Interstate 73 as well as the dredging of the Georgetown Port.[14][15]

On November 11, 2013, Rice was appointed to the water resources conference committee, which helped resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013. The version that passed the House would allow for the dredging of the Georgetown port, a $33 million project that would boost the local economy; Rice said, “I have made it my goal to do whatever it takes to champion South Carolina’s ports.”[16][17][18][19]

Rice has co-sponsored several pieces of legislation including Safe Schools Act of 2013, a bill to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 and others.[20]

Rice has pushed changes to port funding[21][22] and offered victims help to replace Social Security cards and other federal documents after massive fire destroys 26 condo buildings.[23]

In December 2020, Rice was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated incumbent Donald Trump.[24] Rice later said he had been mistaken in questioning the election.[25]

On January 13, 2021, Rice was one of ten Republicans who voted to impeach Trump a second time.[26] As late as two days before the impeachment debate, he opposed impeaching Trump.[27] But Rice told The Post and Courier that Trump’s response to the storming of the Capitol changed his mind. He criticized Trump for neither offering condolences to those who were injured nor expressing regret about the two police officers who died. In a press release, Rice also upbraided Trump for his lack of contrition. Ultimately, Rice said, Trump’s “utter failure” in the matter forced him to vote for impeachment.[28][29] He did so later that day, alongside nine other Republicans.[4]

On January 30, 2021, the South Carolina Republican Party voted to formally censure Rice for his impeachment vote.[30]

On May 19, 2021, Rice was one of 35 Republicans who joined all Democrats in voting to approve legislation to establish the January 6 commission meant to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol.[31]

On February 1, 2022, Trump endorsed state representative Russell Fry in the Republican congressional primary in retaliation for Rice’s vote for impeachment. Trump said, “Congressman Tom Rice of South Carolina, the coward who abandoned his constituents by caving to Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left, and who actually voted against me on Impeachment Hoax #2, must be thrown out of office.”[32] In March, after a Trump rally in South Carolina where Fry had spoken, Rice responded, calling Trump “a would-be tyrant, because, like no one else I’ve ever met, he is consumed by spite.”[6] “I took one vote he didn’t like and now he’s chosen to support a yes man candidate who has and will bow to anything he says.”[6] “If you want a Congressman who supports political violence in Ukraine or in the United States Capitol…who supports a would-be tyrant over the Constitution…then Russell Fry is your candidate.”[6]

On June 5, 2022, Rice was interviewed on ABC and asserted that he had “no regrets” about his action. When the interviewer told him that, in his obituary, “the first sentence is going to be ‘Tom Rice, who was a Republican member of Congress, voted to impeach Donald Trump'”, Rice’s reply was, “So be it,” he said. “I’ll wear it like a badge. So be it.”[33]

Rice was interviewed by NBC News on June 13, 2022, and when asked about Trump’s actions, he said, “He threw a temper tantrum that culminated with the sacking of the United States Capitol” and “It’s a direct attack on the Constitution, and he should be held accountable”.[8]

On June 14, 2022, Rice lost the Republican nomination to Russell Fry.[7]

Political positions

Foreign policy and defense

In June 2021, Rice was one of 49 House Republicans to vote to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.[34][35]


Rice voted against the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, which authorizes DHS to nearly double the available H-2B visas for the remainder of FY 2020.[36][37]

LGBT rights

On July 19, 2022, Rice and 46 other Republican Representatives voted for the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify the right to same-sex marriage in federal law.[38]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

2022 U.S. House of Representatives 7th district Republican primary[44]
Republican Russell Fry 43,509 51.1
RepublicanTom Rice (incumbent)20,92724.6
RepublicanBarbara Arthur10,48112.3
RepublicanKen Richardson6,0217.1
RepublicanGarrett Barton2,1542.5
RepublicanMark McBride1,6762.0
RepublicanSpencer Morris4440.5
Total votes85,212 100.0
2020 U.S. House of Representatives 7th district general election[45]
Republican Tom Rice 224,993 61.8
DemocraticMelissa Ward Watson138,86338.1
Total votes364,091 100.0
Republican hold
2018 U.S. House of Representatives 7th district general election[46]
Republican Tom Rice 142,681 59.6
DemocraticRobert Williams96,56440.3
Total votes239,554 100.0
Republican hold
2014 general election[47]
Republican Tom Rice 102,833 59.95
DemocraticGloria Bromell Tinubu68,57639.98
Total votes171,524 100
2012 U.S. House of Representatives 7th district Republican primary[48]
Republican Andre Bauer 12,037 32.13
RepublicanRenee Culler2790.74
RepublicanKatherine Jenerette1,4573.89
RepublicanJay Jordan8,10721.64
RepublicanJim Mader1800.48
RepublicanChad Prosser3,82410.21
RepublicanTom Rice10,25227.36
RepublicanRandal Wallace6911.84
RepublicanDick Withington6411.71
Total votes37,468 100
2012 U.S. House of Representatives 7th district Republican primary runoff[49]
Republican Tom Rice 16,844 56.11
RepublicanAndre Bauer13,17343.89
Total votes30,017 100
2012 U.S. House of Representatives 7th district general election[50]
Republican Tom Rice 153,068 55.51
DemocraticGloria Bromell Tinubu114,59441.56
Working FamiliesGloria Bromell Tinubu7,7952.83
Total votes275,738 100

Personal life

Rice and his family live in Myrtle Beach. He married his wife Wrenzie in 1982 and they have three sons.[51]

In late May 2020, Rice announced that he refused to wear a face mask in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States while in Congress; in mid-June, he announced that he, his wife, and his son, had all been infected with COVID-19.[52]


  1. ^ a b Jones, Steve (November 4, 2014). “Rep. Tom Rice declared victor in bid for 7th District”. The Sun News. Archived from the original on November 8, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  2. ^ a b “South Carolina – Summary Vote Results”. WYFF. Associated Press. June 13, 2012. Archived from the original on June 19, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  3. ^ “10 GOP lawmakers vote to impeach Trump, trial moves to Senate”. FOX 35. January 13, 2021.
  4. ^ a b “These 10 House Republicans voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday”. CNN. January 13, 2021. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  5. ^ Axelrod, Tal (January 30, 2021). “South Carolina GOP votes to censure Rep. Rice over impeachment vote”. The Hill. Retrieved January 30, 2021. Congressman Rice’s vote unfortunately played right into the Democrats’ game, and the people in his district, and ultimately our State Executive Committee, wanted him to know they wholeheartedly disagree with his decision.
  6. ^ a b c d Lomas, Lexi (March 12, 2022). “GOP congressman calls Trump ‘a would-be tyrant’. The Hill. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  7. ^ a b “South Carolina Primary Results”. CNNpolitics. CNN. June 14, 2022. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Slodysko, Brian (June 15, 2022). “Election 2022 Takeaways: Big Trump win, Nev. Senate race set”. Associated Press (AP).
  9. ^ Hinnant, Lauren (December 19, 2012). “Horry County Chair seat empty Dec. 31, filing opens mid-January”. WBTW News 13. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  10. ^ “Tinubu Wins Democratic Runoff, Brittain Concedes”. The Morning News. June 26, 2012. Archived from the original on January 4, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2021.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Jones, Steve (December 12, 2012). “Rice appointed to House transportation committee”. The Sun News. Retrieved December 12, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ “Rep. Tom Rice committee appointments” (Press release). WBTW. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  13. ^ “Rep. Rice Named Small Business Subcommittee Chairman”. US House of Representatives. January 8, 2013. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  14. ^ “Rep. Rice Appointed Transportation Subcommittees”. US House of Representatives/Rep. Tom Rice news release. January 22, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  15. ^ Jones, Steve (January 25, 2013). “Rice appointed to key subcommittees for 7th District”. The Sun News. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  16. ^ Jones, Steve (November 15, 2013). “Rice named to Water Resources conference committee”. The Sun News. Archived from the original on November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  17. ^ “Rice named to Water Resources conference committee”. Congressman Tom Rice. November 15, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  18. ^ “Speaker Boehner Appoints Negotiators to Water Resources Reform Conference Committee”. Speaker of the House John Boehner. Archived from the original on November 15, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  19. ^ “WRRDA Moves Forward with House Conferee Appointments”. November 15, 2013. Archived from the original on November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  20. ^ “Tom Rice: Bills Co-Sponsoring”. US House of Reps / Library of Congress. Archived from the original on September 21, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
  21. ^ “Rice pushes change in port funding”. Georgetown Times. March 22, 2013. Archived from the original on March 28, 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
  22. ^ “Port critical to economy”. The Greenville News. Retrieved May 13, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ Jones, Steven (March 18, 2013). “Rice offers victims help to replace Social Security cards, other federal documents”. The Sun News. Archived from the original on March 25, 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
  24. ^ “List: The 126 House members, 19 states and 2 imaginary states that backed the Texas challenge to Trump defeat”. The Mercury News. Bay Area News Group. December 15, 2020.
  25. ^ Moye, David (December 22, 2021). “GOP Rep. Now Regrets Vote Against Certifying Joe Biden’s Election Win”. Huffington Post. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  26. ^ Cai, Weiyi; Daniel, Annie; Gamio, Lazaro; Parlapiano, Alicia (January 13, 2021). “Live House Vote: The Second Impeachment of Donald J. Trump”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  27. ^ Dodson, Braley (January 13, 2021). ‘This utter failure is inexcusable’: Republican Rep. Tom Rice of Myrtle Beach votes to impeach Trump”. WBTW.
  28. ^ Novelly, Thomas; Fleming, Tyler (January 13, 2021). “In a stunner, SC GOP Rep. Tom Rice votes to impeach President Trump after Capitol riot”. The Post and Courier.
  29. ^ “Rep Tom Rice Votes to Impeach President Trump”. Congressman Tom Rice. January 13, 2021. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  30. ^ “SCGOP Formally Censures Congressman Tom Rice”. Twitter. January 30, 2021. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  31. ^ LeBlanc, Paul (May 19, 2021). “Here are the 35 House Republicans who voted for the January 6 commission”. CNN. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  32. ^ Greenwood, Max (February 1, 2022). “Trump endorses GOP challenger to South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice”. The Hill. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  33. ^ Siegel, Benjamin; Karl, Jonathan; Mistry, Meghan (June 5, 2022). “GOP Rep. Tom Rice says impeaching Trump was ‘the conservative vote’. ABC News.
  34. ^ Shabad, Rebecca (June 17, 2021). “House votes to repeal 2002 Iraq War authorization”. NBC News. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  35. ^ “Final Vote Results for Roll Call 172”. Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. June 17, 2021. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  36. ^ Pascrell, Bill (December 20, 2019). “Text – H.R.1865 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020”.
  37. ^ “Roll Call 689 Roll Call 689, Bill Number: H. R. 1865, 116th Congress, 1st Session”. Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. December 17, 2019.
  38. ^ Schnell, Mychael (July 19, 2022). “These are the 47 House Republicans who voted for a bill protecting marriage equality”. The Hill. Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  39. ^ “Committees”. Congressman Tom Rice. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  40. ^ “Member List”. Republican Study Committee. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  41. ^ “Our Members”. U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  42. ^ “Kinzinger, Republican Governance Group Members Call on President Biden to Reject Partisan Efforts and Advance Bipartisan COVID Relief”. Congressman Adam Kinzinger. February 3, 2021. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  43. ^ “Featured Members”. Problem Solvers Caucus. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  44. ^ “11/8/2022 Statewide General Election”. South Carolina Election Commission. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  45. ^ “2020 Statewide General Election Night Reporting – Results”. South Carolina Election Commission. November 10, 2020. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  46. ^ Johnson, Cheryl L. (February 28, 2019). “Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 2018”. Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  47. ^ “SC – Election Results”. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  48. ^ “SC – Election Results”. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  49. ^ “SC – Election Results”. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  50. ^ “SC – Election Results”. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  51. ^ “New members: Q-R-S”. Politico. January 17, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  52. ^ Reiman, Eliza (June 15, 2020). “Republican congressman who just announced he has the coronavirus refused to wear a face mask on the House floor 2 weeks ago”. Business Insider. Retrieved June 16, 2020.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Constituency reestablished
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina’s 7th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by