A native of Aiken, South Carolina, Paul Thurmond graduated from Aiken High School and earned an athletic scholarship to Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt, Thurmond was a four year letterman on the tennis team, achieving national ranking and serving as team captain his senior year. Every year eligible, Thurmond also received Academic All-SEC honors. Upon graduation, he worked in Washington, D.C. for Republican Senator Fred Thompson on the Governmental Affairs Committee, the watchdog group for all federal government programs. While working in Washington, Thurmond was able to spend more time with his aging father. Upon returning to South Carolina, Thurmond worked on the House Judiciary Committee under Chairman Jim Harrison and was appointed head law clerk.
Thurmond received his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and was elected Chairman of the Honor Council by his peers while in law school. Upon graduation, Thurmond worked for three years as an Assistance Solicitor in Charleston County, prosecuting violent gun crimes. He then formed a law firm with close friends, Jesse Kirchner and Michael Timbes. Established in 2003, Thurmond Kirchner Timbes and Yelverton, P.A. has grown into a medium sized firm with over five hundred active cases. Based in Charleston, SC, the firm has and a staff of over twenty individuals, including ten attorneys.
Thurmond was invited to complete the Riley Diversity Leadership Program, and he also taught mock trial for two years at the College of Charleston. Charleston’s largest business publication, The Charleston Regional Business Journal named Thurmond their Forty under 40 recognizing 40 people under 40 years of age who are making their mark with community involvement and professional success.
In 2006, Thurmond was elected to Charleston County Council, later as Vice Chair and served on various committees including finance, planning and economic development. With a 6-3 Democratic majority, Thurmond led the fight and convinced fellow council members to cut spending by more than $19 million dollars. He also created policies that resulted in 7,000 new jobs and more than $1.3 billion in economic investment. Thurmond forced county officials to be more transparent in revealing expenditures including salaries for all taxpayers to see. He ended taxpayer dollars going to special interest groups. He’s committed to fiscal discipline and continued transparency in government. While on County Council, he was chairman of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee, served on CARTA, the Council of Governments, the Charleston County Aviation Authority, and the Magistrates Oversight Committee.
In 2012, Thurmond survived the ballot fiasco to win convincingly the South Carolina Senate District 41 seat. He currently serves on Judiciary, Education, Fish, Game and Forestry, Criminology and Penology, and the Rules Committees.
Thurmond married Katherine (Katie) England, of Walhalla, SC in 2003. They have 4 children. The Thurmonds are active members of the Ashley River Baptist Church. He is also a member of St. Andrews Rotary Club.