Luke Byars is a leader in South Carolina political and government affairs strategy with 30 years of experience working with the state’s top public policymakers and corporate executives.
Altogether, Byars has worked on hundreds of local, state and federal political and policy campaigns. Before joining First Tuesday Strategies, Luke served as United States Senator Jim DeMint’s State Director and later as Campaign Manager.
In 2019, Luke helped to form Conservatives for Clean Energy South Carolina (CCE-SC). He now serves as state advisor to CCE-SC and is active in promoting state policies supporting more energy competition and choice in the Southeast.
Previously, in 2014, Luke was Southeastern Director for Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) where he helped build grassroots support for conservative energy policy.
Luke has served at the highest levels in Palmetto State government including four years as Public Affairs Director for Lieutenant Governor Bob Peeler (1998-2002) and before that for three years as State Taxpayer Rights Advocate and Business Ombudsman for the SC Department of Revenue (1995-1998.) During this time, Luke began to work closely with members of the General Assembly to help advance various conservative reforms. In 2003, Luke was named Executive Director of the South Carolina Republican Party.
While at the SCGOP during the 2004 cycle, Luke helped bracket all of the leading Democratic presidential campaigns with national press. During this time, he worked directly with The White House Office of Political Affairs and the Republican National Committee to promote President George W. Bush’s political agenda. Byars helped to direct an impressive (85%) winning percentage for all GOP elections in the state that year.
Luke Byars has consulted with and managed a number of successful legislative, Congressional, gubernatorial and presidential campaigns. He was named a consultant for Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaign in 2012 and as South Carolina campaign manager for Bob Dole’s 1996 Presidential general election campaign. He served as Deputy Director of Voter Programs for the Republican National Committee (1990-1993).
In 2018, 2020 and 2022, Byars served as general consultant for William Timmons’ successful campaigns for United States Congress in the 4th District of South Carolina. Both in 2014 and 2020, Byars served as a senior advisor to U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham’s successful election campaigns.
Also in 2020, Byars was a chief strategist for the S.C. Senate Republican Caucus independent expenditure campaign, which helped defeat three incumbent Democratic state senators.
In 2022, he was a senior advisor to State Rep. Russell Fry’s campaign for Congress, which ultimately defeated a 5-term incumbent U.S. Congressman. Byars also served as a chief strategist on the highly competitive 2022 primary and general election campaigns that elected South Carolina Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver.
Byars is known as an experienced and professional team player who understands how to build a winning campaign.
Luke initially joined FTS as a Partner in 2011 and he now serves as Senior Partner. He and his wife, Drea, reside in Lexington, SC and have three grown children.
University of South Carolina, BA (1989)
Advisory Board, River Bluff High School Law and Global Policy Development Center
Carolina Haven (2011-present)
Lexington County Girls Soccer Association Head Coach
Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Lexington, SC