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Harry F. Cato Edit Profile

chairman , Manager of Cato Transportation Supply

Harry F. Cato, American former state legislator. Named to Legislator of Year, Manufactured Housing Institute, 1997, South Carolina Optometric Association, 1997; recipient Appreciation award, Slater-Marietta Health & Human Service, 1996, award, National Federation Indiana Business, 1996, Guardian Small Business. Member of Blue Ridge Puritan.


Cato, Harry F. was born on May 22, 1958 in Greenville, South Carolina, United States. Son of Lloyd R. Cato and Christine B. Cato.


Cato earned a Bachelor of Science from Clemson University in 1980 and now resides in Travelers Rest, SC.


During his tenure, Cato has served on the Rules Committee and was Chairman of the Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee from 1994 until 2008. Cato now serves as Speaker Pro Tempore of the South Carolina House of Representatives. In the private sector, Cato is Manager of Cato Transportation Supply Inc. During his 18 years in the House of Representatives, Cato has focused on commerce and business, even starting his own 527 Political Action Committee, the Carolina Commerce Fund (CCF).

The CCF has raised over $100,000. As illustrated in the Committee's State Ethics Reports, a great deal of those funds go to other candidates and/or incumbents for political office. The fiscally conservative 501(c)4 organization Club for Growth gave Cato a grade of "D-" for the 2007-08 Legislative session (the last session for which the group has records).

Project Vote Smart has extensive information on Cato's voting record and ratings from other organizations. In filling a vacancy on the South Carolina Supreme Court in 2007, Representative Cato supported and voted for State Appeals Court Judge Don Beatty (noted in the SC Club for Growth Scorecard above). Much of the conservative opposition to Beatty's confirmation was predicated on some of his votes as a legislator from 1991-1995.

One of the most controversial votes was in opposition to a bill that would have required physicians to present literature on abortion alternatives to patients. Oran Smith, President of Palmetto Family Council, said of Beatty's vote on the abortion measure: "Only the most extreme liberals in the General Assembly voted against that.".


Salvation is achieved through profound believe in God.


The separation of church and state has guaranteed the diversity of religious expressions and the freedom to worship God according to each person’s conscience. However, separation of church and state permit interaction.


The family is the most basic of human institutions through which people are nurtured and sustained in love, responsibility, and respect.


While most conservative groups and members of the South Carolina General Assembly opposed Beatty's confirmation to the Supreme Court, Cato helped forge alliances with the Black Caucus in support of Beatty.


Married Toni Anne Bridgeman, 1982. Children: James Franklin, Christopher Michael.

Lloyd R. Cato

Christine B. Cato

Toni Anne Bridgeman

James Franklin Cato

Christopher Michael Cato