On March 20, 1969, Andre Bauer was born with a big heart for helping others and with even bigger dreams for creating a brighter future for his fellow South Carolinians.
He grew up in Charleston and graduated from Irmo High School and the University of South Carolina, where he earned a BS in business administration and was a member of the cheerleading squad and Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He’d later be recognized as Alumnus of the Year in 2001 for the University of South Carolina’s College of Applied Professional Science.
Prior to his entry into the political arena, Bauer rose up the ranks to captain of the South Carolina State Guard and ran his own business, Bauer Enterprises, one of the largest distributors of college merchandise in the state, including more than 250 Wal-Mart locations.
In 1996, at age 26, he ran for state representative for Lexington and Newberry counties and won. During his term, Bauer fought for taxpayers, proposing legislation to reduce expenses and the role of government. In 1999, he took office as a state senator after a special election. And in 2003, he was inaugurated as South Carolina’s 87th lieutenant governor, one of the youngest in the United States, at age 33. As lieutenant governor for two consecutive terms through 2011, Bauer lobbied the General Assembly to restructure South Carolina’s Older Americans Act programs by transferring the Bureau of Senior Services from the Department of Health & Human Services to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging (LGOA) in 2004. He oversaw the $35 million LGOA, an agency representing the state’s 750,000 senior citizens, and testified before Congress on the condition of Aging and the Older Americans Act.
Bauer has served as an advocate for our elder citizens of South Carolina during his tenure, both in his role as lieutenant governor and as chairman of the Palmetto Tomorrow Foundation, a nonprofit for which he organizes projects for Senior Citizens, recognizes elders who have made significant contributions to our state and country through the Palmetto Patriot program, and has traveled to more than 20 countries on behalf of South Carolina to recruit new businesses to the state. He’s also been recognized for support of military families while in office through his endorsement of the Military Relief Fund, which offers financial assistance to families of reservists and guardsmen.
He is currently a member of the Lake Murray Tourism and Recreation Association, the American Diabetes Association, the Columbia Visitors Bureau, the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, the Sons of the American Revolution and the Union United Methodist Church.