Hastings Wyman

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Hastings Wilder Wyman, Jr.

(American political consultant and former publisher of The Southern Political Report)

Hastings Wyman.jpg

Born January 2, 1939
Aiken, South Carolina, USA
Political Party Republican
Spouse Divorced

Two children[1]
Hastings, Sr., and Elizabeth Babb Wyman

Hastings Wilder Wyman, Jr. (born January 2, 1939),[2] is a political consultant, author, pundit, former attorney, and the publisher from 1978 to 2005 of the The Southern Political Report, a bi-weekly nonpartisan newsletter of political analysis of thirteen states of the American South.


Wyman was born in Aiken, South Carolina, the only son of Hastings "Wee" Wyman, Sr. (October 17, 1912 – January 28, 1998), and the former Elizabeth Babb (June 7, 1914 – September 25, 1998). There are two Wyman daughters, the sisters of Hastings Wyman, Jr., Elizabeth W. Silk of New York City, and Nancy W. Ray of Rock Hill, South Carolina. The senior Wyman owned Wyman Realty and served on the Aiken Zoning Board, the Aiken City Council, and as mayor pro-tem. He was a graduate of Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, and a member of First Presbyterian Church in Aiken, where he served as an elder and taught the Tewkesbury Sunday school class. He was formerly an elder at the Bethesda Presbyterian Church, when the Wymans lived in Camden, South Carolina.[3] Wyman's grandfather, also named Hastings Wyman (1879-1931), was a medical doctor in Aiken who died some eight years before Wyman was born. Wyman's grandfather, both parents, and other family members are interred at Bethany Cemetery in Aiken.[4]

Wyman, Jr., attended public schools in, first, Camden and then Aiken. In 1961, he received a Bachelor of Arts in U.S. government from Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was a roommate of later U.S. Representative Barney Frank, a Democrat liberal who represented Massachusetts' 4th congressional district between 1981 and 2013. Frank engaged in debates with students who held more conservative views, including Wyman, who recalls, "He and I used to argue all the time. But it was not out of anger, it was out of an interest in the topics."[5] When Wyman invited Frank to visit at Wyman's home in Aiken, Frank made a point of drinking from the since-abolished "colored-only" water fountain then available to African Americans.[5]

While at Harvard, Wyman confided to Frank that he (Wyman) is homosexual, not knowing that Frank then had the same inclination. In 1987, Frank became the first sitting member of the United States Congress to announce that his homosexuality; Wyman followed suit in the middle 1990s after several years of marriage and two children.[1]

Political and journalism career

In 1964, Wyman earned his law degree from the University of South Carolina. Barney Frank at the time was marching in Freedom Summer in Mississippi.[5] Wyman held his law license in South Carolina from August 27, 1964 until March 5, 1982, when he resigned from the bar.[6]

In 1965, at the age of twenty-six, Wyman was elected chairman of the Republican Party in Aiken County, South Carolina, a group dominated by conservatives. In 1966, he was named southern states field representative for the Republican National Committee; this entailed travel throughout the region to present campaign workshops.[7]

Late in 1967, Wyman became a staff aide to the Democrat-turned-Republican U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, also a native of Aiken and the "father" of the modern Republican Party in South Carolina. Wyman remained with Thurmond until 1973 except for a six-months leave of absence in 1970 to manage the gubernatorial campaign for Republican U.S. Representative Albert William Watson of South Carolina's 2nd congressional district.[7] Though he was Thurmond's choice for the governorship, Watson was defeated by the Democrat Lieutenant Governor John Carl West, a Camden native backed by South Carolina's other U.S. senator at the time, Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings. Not a single major newspaper endorsed Watson. A consensus developed that racially moderate white voters who supported West's call to obey federal court orders relating to school desegregation carried with them the key to victory.[8] In 1973, Wyman joined the staff as a special assistant to United States Secretary of Commerce Frederick B. Dent.[7]

From 1975 until 1998, Wyman worked in the public affairs department of the American Petroleum Institute in Washington, D.C. In 2005, InsiderAdvantage, a multi-media company based in Atlanta, Georgia, purchased The Southern Political Report. Wyman continued to write the newsletter and to contribute to the on-line version.[9] Wyman has also penned articles for The Washington Post, The American Spectator, The Wall Street Journal, the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, and The New York Times.[7] One of his New York Times articles, "An Inescapable History" (October 2, 2012), explains why blue-collar workers in the South are more conservative politically than their counterparts in the remainder of the nation.[10]

Wyman has also offered political commentary on radio and television.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Stuart E. Wiesberg (2009; ISBN 978-1-55849-721-4). Barney Frank: The Story of America's Only Left-handed, Gay, Jewish Congressman. Sheridan Books. Retrieved on November 5, 2020. 
  2. Wyman, Hastings (Wilder). Mylife.com. Retrieved on November 5, 2020.
  3. Hastings "Wee" Wyman. findagrave.com (January 30, 1998). Retrieved on November 5, 2020.
  4. Dr. Hastings Wyman. findagrave.com. Retrieved on November 5, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Mercer R. Book and Maya Jonas-Silver (May 21, 2012). Barney Frank. The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved on November 5, 2020.
  6. In the Matter of Hastings Wyman, Jr.. sc.findacase.com. Retrieved on May 4, 2014.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Hastings Wyman. library.sc.edu. Retrieved on May 4, 2014.
  8. Billy Hathorn, "The Changing Politics of Race: Congressman Albert William Watson and the South Carolina Republican Party, 1965-1970," South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. 89 (October 1988), p. 233-235.
  9. Arena profile: Hastings Wyman. politico.com. Retrieved on May 4, 2014.
  10. An Inescapable History. The New York Times (October 2, 2012). Retrieved on May 4, 2014.