Central, S.C. – Retired Circuit Court Judge and District 3 state House Rep. Gary Clary filed for reelection Friday, March 16, 2018, at the Pickens County Board of Elections. Rep. Gary Clary (R-Pickens) was first elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives House District 3 seat in 2014, and he plans to seek his third term for office in 2018.
During his time in the state House, Clary has been an advocate for and a leader in education and reading intervention legislation, serving as the primary sponsor of a bill that requires the state Department of Education to provide dyslexia training to all literacy coaches and literacy teachers in kindergarten through grade 3. He also co-sponsored legislation addressing educational inequity in poor school districts. During the current legislative session, Rep. Clary introduced H. 4434, which was unanimously approved by the Senate Education Committee this week. The bill now goes before the S.C. Senate, where it will hopefully be passed to the benefit of the all the children of South Carolina.
Clary continues to be recognized statewide for his work on land conservation issues. He was awarded Upstate Forever’s Public Servant of the Year for 2018. In addition to joining the Pickens County legislative delegation in pushing through a law during the 2016 session that legislates where toxic coal ash can be disposed of, Rep. Clary personally responded to pleas for help from a Clemson neighborhood that did not want 40-foot-tall smokestacks in their backyards, effectively reaching a compromise with Clemson University and City to relocate a power plant away from private homes. In September 2017, Clary was also awarded the House Conservation Leadership Award by the Conservation Voters of South Carolina (CVSC). Rep. Clary has an impressive 106 percent Lifetime score on the Conservation Scorecard.
Clary has also worked this session providing leadership on a number of controversial and complex issues including:
- strengthening Department of Transportation transparency and accountability,
- championing independent redistricting efforts,
- ethics reform, including legislation to create true transparency for elected officials’ sources of income, as well as uncovering sources of dark money,
- and leading efforts to protect ratepayers in the wake of the SCANA/Santee-Cooper/V.C. Sumner Nuclear facility closure, including efforts to reform the state’s Public Service Commission, Santee Cooper Board and Office of Regulatory Staff, and repealing the Base Load Review Act
Rep. Clary has a long history of service and leadership, leading up to and including his run for elected office. Rep. Clary earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Clemson University and Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina. After law school, he worked in Washington, D.C., as Minority Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Internal Security and as a Legislative Assistant for United States Senator Strom Thurmond.
After practicing law in the private sector for 17 years Rep. Clary was elected as a Circuit Judge by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1992 and reelected in 1997. He retired in September 2002 and re-entered the private sector to work as Assistant General Counsel of Extended Stay America, a Fortune 500 hotel company. Rep. Clary has also served as an Assistant Professor of Paralegal Studies at Greenville Technical College and is a Certified Mediator and Arbitrator. As a South Carolina Circuit Judge, Gary was highly regarded for his knowledge of Criminal Law and Procedure. He is an author and was regarded as a “judge’s judge” during his time on the bench.
Rep. Clary currently serves as a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Legislative Oversight Committee. During his first term, Rep. Clary was the only freshman member of the House appointed by Speaker Jay Lucas to the important Legislative Oversight Committee and he currently serves as Chairman of the Executive Subcommittee. Rep. Clary was appointed by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to serve as his designee on the important Legislative Audit Council. He was also appointed to the Joint Transportation Review Committee and the Joint Bond Study Committee.
Rep. Clary is active in the Rotary Club of Clemson (Paul Harris Fellow), Fort Hill Clemson Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Clemson United Methodist Church where he has served as Chairperson of the Staff-Parish Relations Committee, Church Council, and its Finance Committee. Rep. Clary is also a proud former member of the Clemson Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Rep. Clary is a South Carolina native and a lifelong Republican. Gary is married to Patricia Brumbach Clary who retired from the faculty of the Mary Black School of Nursing at USC Upstate. Rep. Clary and Patricia are the proud parents of two children, Adair Clary Pederson, a public school teacher, and Lawson Brumbach Clary, an ordained minister. They are even prouder grandparents to Conner and Clary Pederson and Hudson and Grayson Clary.