Gilda Cobb-Hunter


Gilda Cobb-Hunter was the first African American woman in Orangeburg County elected to a statewide office as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

She became the first freshman appointed to and is ranking member and 1st Vice Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee and a member of the Joint Bond Review Committee. Cobb-Hunter became the first person of color, male or female, to lead a legislative caucus when elected House Minority Leader. She is the longest serving Representative in the House ranked number 1 out of 124 members. Widely respected on both sides of the aisle Cobb-Hunter has been dubbed “the conscience of the House.”

As Vice-Chair of the African American History Monument Commission, Cobb-Hunter led the historic effort to build the first monument to African Americans on the grounds of any state capitol. For twenty years, she represented South Carolina as the National Committeewoman to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and became a member of the DNC’s Executive Committee and served as Chair of the DNC’s Southern Regional Caucus, the first woman of color elected to that position. 

Rep. Cobb-Hunter is a former President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) and a current member of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Executive Committee.  She has been honored for her legislative leadership by numerous organizations and is sought out by many for her sage advice and strategic thinking.  

Cobb-Hunter is the Chief Executive Officer of CASA/Family Systems, a family violence agency serving Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun counties. She has spent most of her adult life working at the state and national level advocating for marginalized communities and families.

A native of Gifford, Florida, Cobb-Hunter holds a B.S. in Afro-American History from Florida A&M University, an M.A. in American-History from Florida State University and is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She received honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the Medical University of South Carolina, the College of Charleston and Francis Marion University and the David Wilkins Legislative Leadership Award from the Riley Institute at Furman University.  Cobb-Hunter is one of the 12 African Americans named as a South Carolina 2021 African American History Calendar Honoree.

She is married to Dr. Terry K. Hunter, Executive Director of the Fine Arts Cultural Enrichment Teaching Studios (FACETS) and they reside in Orangeburg.