PICKENS — Retired Circuit Court Judge Gary Clary has announced his intention to run for the Republican nomination in the South Carolina District 3 House race.
Clary, who has spent the last six plus years working in arbitration and mediation following his retirement from the bench, declared his intentions Jan. 30 to vie for the office out of a desire to serve.
“Throughout my time on the bench and since retiring I’ve seen so many qualified people who are extremely qualified choose not to serve,” Clary explained. “There are any number of reasons they choose not to, and I understand that, but I’m making a choice, and not lightly, to do just that.”
Having served as a circuit court judge, Clary feels he has some experience that would be beneficial to his district if elected.
“I think I have a skill set that gives me a unique perspective,” he said. “There’s no sense in me sitting on the sidelines and watching someone else. With the skills I have, I need to get in there and do something. So I made the decision to run.”
Having experience with the law has to serve as some sort of advantage, according to Clary.
“As a lawyer and as a judge you deal with statutes every day,” he said. “And as a judge, any number of times, cases have come before me and I would have to interpret those statutes. That kind of experience can and will make a difference.”
Does serving as a circuit court judge provide that much experience? According to Clary it goes beyond just the statutes.
“As a matter of fact as a judge, I was elected by the legislature,” Clary added. “I was around the legislature a good bit during my time as a judge and I understand that process.”
Clary is hoping to make a difference in many areas and is hoping to do so by avoiding the mistakes others in public service have made.
“You can see the pitfalls that go into the legislative process and I think it needs to change,” he explained. “A lot of people get caught up in the politics and lose sight of what they want to achieve. I want to do the best job I can do and help move South Carolina and district three in the right direction for everyone.”
Clary is a graduate of Clemson University and he and his wife Pat live in Pickens County.