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Harold W. (Trey) Gowdy, III was elected 7th Circuit Solicitor in November of 2000. He successfully sought the Republican nomination for Circuit Solicitor against a sixteen (16) year incumbent and had no opposition in the general election. It was Gowdy's first attempt at political office.

Prior to running for Circuit Solicitor, Gowdy was a successful federal prosecutor handling all types of violent and drug crimes in the federal system. His work received recognition from nearly all federal law enforcement agencies including winning the prestigious "United States Postal Inspector's Award" for his successful prosecution of Mark J. Allen, one of "America's Most Wanted Criminals." Gowdy successfully prosecuted Allen twice for a variety of charges including car jacking, armed robbery, and escape. Allen is serving a federal prison sentence in excess of 50 years.

Gowdy also prosecuted numerous drug organizations with ties all across the East Coast.

In 1997, he prosecuted the first federal murder case in the Upstate of South Carolina in over a quarter century. Along with a colleague at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Gowdy convicted Tommy Pabellon and Bob Harry Fowler of the murder of a federal witness. Both are serving life sentences.

Since becoming Circuit Solicitor Gowdy and his staff of attorneys have reduced the backlog of criminal cases in Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties by over 40%. In addition, Gowdy has successfully prosecuted defendants in state court for murder, rape, assault and battery with intent to kill, armed robbery, drug trafficking, and disturbing schools.

Among the defendants Gowdy has prosecuted:

-Richard Moore received the death penalty for the murder and armed robbery of a convenience store worker.
-James McKinney received life for the rape and burglary of a young woman at a local motel.
-Mikell Ruffin received life for the murder of a truck driver.
-Eddie Goins received life for assault and battery with intent to kill on a Cherokee County detention officer.
-William Seich received life for the murder of his wife.

The Solicitor's Office is also committed to stopping crime before it happens:

  1. with a Drug Court that aggressively helps addicts break the cycles of addiction and crime,
  2. with a Pre-Trial Intervention Program for certain offenders, and
  3. with a Violent Crimes Task Force that prosecutes "the worst of the worse" in terms of violent and potentially violent defendants.

Prior to becoming a prosecutor Gowdy worked in private practice and as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge G. Ross Anderson, Jr.

He is married to Terri Dillard Gowdy and they have two children - Watson and Abigail. Terri is a teacher's aide in a Spartanburg County public elementary school. She is a former Miss Spartanburg and finalist for Miss South Carolina.

The Solicitor is a 1982 graduate of Spartanburg High School, a 1986 graduate of Baylor University and a 1989 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law where he was admitted into the scholastic honor society "Order of the Wig and Robe".

The Solicitor and his family are involved in their local church and in the community. He was born in Greenville, South Carolina in 1964 to Dr. and Mrs. Harold W. Gowdy, Jr.

Solicitor Gowdy's goal for the 7th Circuit Solicitor's Office is to make it the best solicitor's office in the state by resolving criminal offenses in a fair, just, and right manner.