Pee Dee lawmakers speak on Sen. Hugh Leatherman’s legacy

Pee Dee

FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Some Pee Dee area lawmakers are offering their thoughts and prayers following reports that he’s at home in hospice care. His colleague and friend, state Sen. Kent Williams, reflected on Leatherman’s legacy on Monday.

“Icon. A man of great influence. Statesman,” Williams said.

At 90-years-old, Leatherman, a Florence native, is known for being the oldest and one of the most powerful state lawmakers.

“Not many elected officials get to accomplish and experience what Sen. Hugh Leatherman has done,” Williams said.

Leatherman has also been a driving force behind many state economic development projects, including the S.C. Ports’ Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in North Charleston. It’s marked as the country’s first container terminal to open in more than a decade.

Williams recalled a 2014 “opportunity of a lifetime” when Leatherman invited him on an economic excursion with him to Japan.

“He would get up like 5 o’clock in the morning, go to the gym, work out and have breakfast,” Williams said. “We would leave the hotel about 8 a.m., and we wouldn’t return until about 10 that night, and this was every day. He wore me out.”

Williams spoke heavily of Leatherman’s work ethic as they worked side by side in the state Senate.

“I said to the Lieutenant Governor ‘Does he ever take a break?’ He said ‘man this man has more energy than you can believe.’ Everybody knew him. Everybody respected him and I learned so much,” Williams said. “In 90 years. You know his mind just as sharp as a razor. He never ceases to amaze me, and, you know, ‘I said wow I would sign up for that today…absolutely,’ ” Williams continued.

Several state Senators offered their prayers to the Leatherman family.

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