Former South Carolina House Majority Leader Kenneth A. “Kenny” Bingham has been awarded the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor, in recognition of his extraordinary work and dedication to his constituents. Bingham was presented the award by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley in a ceremony Jan. 11 at the South Carolina Statehouse. Bingham joined the Adams and Reese Columbia office as a government affairs advisor (non-lawyer) last July following his retirement from the S.C. House of Representatives.
“It would be easy to point to specific accomplishments that merit the Order of the Palmetto, but in fact, your entire life and career have been marked by a strong level of achievement that brings enormous credit to you and your family,” wrote Gov. Haley in a letter to Bingham.
She added: “Through your exceptional leadership in the South Carolina General Assembly since 2001, you have served your constituency with integrity and demonstrated your strong commitment to the Palmetto State. You have proven yourself an effective leader, and your countless contributions will have a lasting impact on our state for years to come.”
Bingham served as S.C. House Majority Leader from 2008 to 2012 and is a successful Cayce, S.C. businessman. During his 16-year service in the House, he served on the House Labor, Commerce & Industry Committee; the Medical, Military, and Municipal Affairs Committee; and the Joint Bond Review Committee, and presided as finance chairman for the House GOP Caucus. Prior to being elected to the S.C. House of Representatives in 2000, Bingham was a member of the City of Cayce Planning Commission for two years and served for four years on the Lexington School District Two Board of Trustees, including two years as chairman.
In 2003, Bingham was named “National Legislator of the Year” by the National Republican Legislators Association. In 2004, he was honored by SC Gov. Mark Sanford as a “Taxpayer Hero,” and in 2005, he was named a “Friend of the Taxpayer” by the SC Association of Taxpayers. As a State Representative, Bingham consistently earned the support of many pro-business groups including the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, which recognized him in 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2016 with its “Business Advocate Award.” In 2011, he was selected as the Chamber’s statewide “Public Servant of the Year”.
The Order of the Palmetto is South Carolina’s highest civilian honor awarded to citizens of South Carolina for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements of national or statewide significance. Given solely at the discretion of the governor, the award was established by former Gov. John C. West in 1971.