David Muldrow Beasley (born February 26, 1957) is a Republican who served one term as the Governor of South Carolina from 1995 until 1999.
David Beasley, a native of Darlington, South Carolina, began his political career as a member of the Democratic Party, but switched to the Republican Party in September 1991, three years before his election as governor. His first run for public office came in 1978, when, as a 21-year-old junior attending Clemson University, he unexpectedly won a seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives. He later graduated from the University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina School of Law.
He served as a member of the House from 1979 until 1995, rising through the party ranks to become Majority Whip. He served as the youngest Speaker pro tempore and Majority Leader in the nation, being elected to the position from 1987-1989. It was during the 1991-92 legislative session that Beasley switched to the Republican party. During the 1994 election for governor, both Beasley and his Democratic opponent Lieutenant Governor Nick Theodore had tough primary fights within their own respective parties. Beasley, however, beat his toughest competitor, former Congressman and State Senator Arthur Ravenel, Jr., in both the primary and run-off, and went on to win the general election by a narrow margin of 50%-48%.