As buzz continues to rage over the possibility of Trey Gowdy running for Speaker of the House or, more likely, House Majority Leader, here are five things to know about the popular South Carolina Congressman. Gowdy, a husband and father of two (a daughter in high school and son in college) is in his third term.
1. He is an award winning former District Attorney and Federal Prosecutor. After graduating from Baylor, Gowdy attended South Carolina Law School, graduating in 1989. Gowdy then went into private legal practice. Gowdy became a federal prosecutor in 1994, where, during his tenure, he earned the Postal Inspector’s Award for successfully prosecuting J. Mark Allen, one of “America’s Most Wanted” suspects. In 2000, he decided to run for 7th Circuit Solicitor, the equivalent of a District Attorney in South Carolina. Gowdy won and was re-elected multiple times.
2. He knows how to beat incumbents. Gowdy won his Congressional post by beating an incumbent Congressman, winning a 5 way primary that led to the ouster of Rep. Bob Inglis in 2010. He also won his District Attorney position in the 7th Circuit by defeating a Republican incumbent. In that race, it was Gowdy’s first political campaign ever, and he successfully knocked off a 16 year GOP incumbent.
3. He is Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare in the U.S. House. As Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Gowdy is the House’s top dog when it comes to investigating the 2012 attack at the U.S. Embassy in Libya. Clinton is due to face Gowdy in a heated hearing on October 22nd. Gowdy was appointed to the position by the now departing Speaker Boehner. While announcing Gowdy as the Chairman of the committee, Boehner said that “Trey Gowdy is as dogged, focused, and serious-minded as they come… This is a big job, but Rep. Gowdy has the confidence of this conference, and I know his professionalism and grit will earn him the respect of the American people.”
4. He’s popular with his peers. Gowdy says he is not running for any House position, but his colleagues are egging him on, encouraging him to jump into the leadership race. Gowdy is publicly backed by Rep. Mia Love, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, and The support reflects the fact that Gowdy is well-liked by all factions of the divided House GOP Conference, a rare Congressman who can have lunch with legislators like Justin Amash and Thomas Massie, then seamlessly transition to a sit down with House Majority Leader and leading Boehner replacement Kevin McCarthy.
5. He’s great on TV. Long before he was rattling cages in D.C. and appearing regularly on Fox News, Gowdy was featured in the show “Forensic Files” for his work as a prosecutor. Gowdy made not just one, but two appearances on the show. He was also on America’s Most Wanted, as well as Dateline.