Harold Watson "Trey" Gowdy III (born August 22, 1964) is the U.S. Representative for South Carolina's 4th congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party. Before his election to Congress, he was the solicitor (district attorney) for the state's Seventh Judicial Circuit, comprising Spartanburg and Cherokee counties.
He was born in 1964 in Greenville, South Carolina to Dr. and Mrs. Harold Gowdy.
Trey graduated from Spartanburg High School in 1982. He earned a B.A. in history from Baylor University in 1986 and a law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1989.
Following law school, he clerked for the late John P. Gardner on the South Carolina Court of Appeals and United States District Court Judge Ross Anderson. He then went into private practice before becoming a federal prosecutor in April 1994.
He was awarded the Postal Inspector’s Award for the successful prosecution of J. Mark Allen, one of “America’s Most Wanted” suspects.
In February 2000, he left the United States Attorney’s Office to run for 7th Circuit Solicitor. He defeated incumbent Solicitor Holman Gossett in the Republican primary. No other party even put up a candidate, ensuring his election in November. He was reelected in 2004 and 2008, both times completely unopposed.
During his tenure, he appeared on “Forensic Files” twice, as well as Dateline NBC and SCETV.
When the state faced a budget crunch that forced many employees to go on unpaid furloughs, Gowdy funneled part of his campaign account into the solicitor's budget so his staff could keep working.
U.S. House of Representatives
In the summer of 2009, Gowdy announced that he would challenge Bob Inglis in the Republican primary for South Carolina's 4th congressional district. Gowdy ran well to Inglis's right, accusing him of crossing party lines too often. In the June 9, 2010 primary, he managed to force Inglis, who served six terms spread out over 16 years, into a runoff, taking 39 percent of the vote to Inglis's 27 percent.
Gowdy routed Inglis in the June 22 runoff, receiving 71 percent of the vote to Inglis's 29 percent. The 4th is so heavily Republican that it was widely presumed Gowdy had assured himself of a seat in Congress.
In the November 2 general election, Gowdy faced Democratic nominee Paul Corden, Libertarian nominee Rick Mahler, and Constitution Party nominee Dave Edwards.
Gowdy easily won, receiving 64 percent of the vote to 29 percent for Corden.
Gowdy considers himself to be a staunch conservative. He told Congressional Quarterly that his primary test for supporting legislation will be whether its sponsor can show where the Constitution gives Congress the power to act in a particular realm.
- Committee on Education and the Workforce
- Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
- Committee on the Judiciary
- Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law (Vice Chair)
- Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
- Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement
- Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
- Subcommittee on Health Care, District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives (Chairman)
- Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs
February 7th, 2012