Character Name: Nicholas Ray Rhodes Home State: South Carolina
Previous Jobs: State Treasurer of South Carolina Date of Birth: March 14, 1957 Race / Ethnicity: Caucasian American Religion: Nondenominational Christian Wealth: Upper Middle Class Gender: Male Sexuality: Heterosexual Are you married?: Yes (Morgan Hester Collier, m. 1989) How many children do you have?: 1
Nicholas "Nick" Ray Rhodes was born to Thomas and Evelyn Rhodes on March 14, 1957 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His family moved to Rock Hill, South Carolina after his father got a job with a local realtor. An alumni of Clafin University, Rhodes graduated with a BBA, and later an MBA. He went on to open up his own commercial banking enterprise, the Rhodes Community Bank. In 2007, shortly before the economic crash, he sold the company to the Bank of South Carolina on the advice of his father. Following the crash, he bought back many of his old shares at a fraction of the cost and helped the company recover as Chief Financial Officer. This caught the attention of local Republican leaders, who drafted him to run the state treasury. Rhodes served as the State Treasurer of South Carolina, before making a bid for Senate against incumbent Lindsey Graham. Graham ultimately decided to retire, allowing Rhodes to win the primary unopposed and defeat his Democratic opponent. Since joining the Senate, Rhodes has marked himself with a unique populist stance. Pundits had speculated that he would make a presidential bid in 2016, and later 2020, but Rhodes ultimately did not run in either election, instead endorsing Donald Trump and Paul Vang, respectively.
Politically, Rhodes has a checkered past. In college, he wrote several opinion pieces in favor of then-California Governor Ronald Reagan, who had challenged incumbent President Gerald Ford in 1976. However, like many Republicans, he became disenfranchised with the party after George H. W. Bush's decision to raise taxes and his handling of the federal budget. This lead him to vote for Ross Perot in 1992. He strongly opposed Bill Clinton's trade deals, particularly NAFTA, but found himself dissatisfied with the Republican response. This, combined with George W. Bush's handling of the Iraq War, led to Rhodes defecting to the Libertarian Party in 2003, though he ultimately rejoined the Republicans years later following the rise of the Tea Party Republicans and Gary Johnson's nomination in 2012, who Rhodes noted as 'pandering' in one of his memoirs. Since 2016, Rhodes became one of the first faces making up the growing 'Trump wing' of the Republican Party in Congress and has adhered to a consistent populist rhetoric ever since.