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SC-5: Trey Gowdy Endorses Tommy Pope




U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy – who has represented the Palmetto State’s fourth congressional district since 2011 – is weighing in on a neighboring congressional election.

Gowdy has endorsed the candidacy of S.C. Speaker pro tempore Tommy Pope, who is locked in a fierce battle with former S.C. Rep. Ralph Norman in the race for the Palmetto State’s fifth congressional district.  The “fightin’ fifth” was vacated back in February by Mick Mulvaney upon his confirmation as White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director.

Sources close to Mulvaney say he has no plans to endorse in the race to fill his unexpired term.

Both Gowdy and Pope are former solicitors who used to work in judicial circuits bordering one another, so his endorsement is not surprising.

“They go way back and have worked together on a lot of cases,” a source familiar with the endorsement told us.

In a letter to his supporters, Gowdy said Pope “gave and lent me counsel, advice, support, and the full weight of his own experience in law enforcement and prosecution.”

“Tommy is uniquely qualified to serve in these times,” Gowdy’s letter continued. “We have what will perhaps be a once in a lifetime opportunity to govern, to restore respect for and adherence to the rule of law, to increase our national security, provide real economic opportunity to our fellow South Carolinians who want to work or want to work more, and to restore the constitutional integrity that made this the greatest country the world has ever known.”

Gowdy is the second sitting South Carolina congressman to weigh in on this election.  U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan – who represents the state’s third congressional district – endorsed former SCGOP chairman and “Republican” operative Chad Connelly during the first round of voting.

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Will Gowdy’s endorsement matter? We’ll see …

As we noted earlier this week, less than ten percent of ballots cast in the initial round of fifth district voting came from areas bordering Gowdy’s backyard.  Of that smattering of votes, Norman received 25.1 percent compared to Pope’s 23 percent.

Also, Gowdy’s recent endorsement of establishment “Republican” hero Marco Rubio in the 2016 “First in the South” presidential primary election clearly failed to move the needle in South Carolina for the “neoconservative” U.S. Senator from Florida.

Of interest?  Prior to his endorsement of Rubio, Gowdy refrained from engaging in GOP primary elections.

“You don’t need me to tell you who to vote for,” he told a gathering of Spartanburg County “Republicans” in September of 2015.

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