Hanna Bogorowski, DCNF
- After South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy announced his retirement in January, state Sen. William Timmons decided to try and take over his role.
- Timmons is a small business owner and former prosecutor living in Greenville.
- Timmons faces Democrat Brandon Brown in November, although South Carolina’s 4th district is likely considered to stay red.
As the outspoken South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy prepares for retirement, a younger but similar version of the congressman is seeking his seat in the relatively GOP-safe district in November.
South Carolina state Sen. William Timmons, 34, won the Republican primary runoff for the state’s 4th District, which includes portions of Greenville and Spartanburg counties, on June 28 with 54.3 percent of the vote, defeating state Republican Sen. Lee Bright.
While he hasn’t won the House seat yet, South Carolina’s 4th District is considered a safe Republican district in a red state: Gowdy has held the seat since 2010 and six of the seven districts in the state are currently held by Republicans. The current governor, Henry McMaster, and both senators, Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, are also Republicans.
The district also sided with President Donald Trump in the 2016 election by a margin of 25.6 points, and Trump won the state by nearly 55 percent of the vote.
Thank you Greenville and Spartanburg Counties for your overwhelming support! I just heard from @leebright and thanked him for a spirited campaign. The Upstate stands united to keep #SC4 Republican! THANK YOU pic.twitter.com/vI3yQpCdKX
— William Timmons (@votetimmons) June 27, 2018
Timmons says Gowdy has been a mentor to him over the years, and he even went door to door on his campaign in 2010, Timmons told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The two are both from Greenville, both studied law at the University of South Carolina and both spent part of their careers as prosecutors.
“He really did make a difference in Washington. He’s internationally known and respected,” Timmons said, and while he regrets that Gowdy is leaving, he feels he has the “ingredients” to continue his legacy and get the country back on track.
A derailed Washington and a broken system is precisely what drew Timmons to run for office, he told TheDCNF.
While being a prosecutor for white collar crimes and domestic violence, Timmons has also started six businesses, of which he still owns four.
Part of the reason he ran for office was due to the frustration and difficulty he dealt with in running those businesses, which included a yoga studio, a real estate office, a law practice and CrossFit gyms.
“It’s hard to comply with government regulations and the overly complex tax structure,” he said, adding that “if I was going to complain about something as much as I was, I had to be willing to try to fix it.”
Timmons says he called six people he would have supported to succeed Gowdy, and after none of them were up to the job and all but one urged Timmons himself to run, his journey to the U.S. House of Representatives began.
One look at Timmons’s campaign website reveals he currently views Washington as borderline ineffective, and the underlying theme of all the most pressing issues the country faces result from Congress’s inaction.
While Timmons wouldn’t call himself “anti-establishment,” a rising platform under Trump, he feels strongly that things could easily change if politicians and Congress started doing their respective jobs.
“I don’t care about who caused the problem, I care about fixing it,” he said.
On a similar sentiment, Timmons repeatedly advocated for government transparency and restoring public trust in office in the interview with TheDCNF.
For example, immigration is an issue at the forefront of his district, he said, and when people in government choose to “selectively enforce” the country’s laws, referring to illegal immigration, it facilitates a lack in government trust.
“We have elected officials that are making the unilateral decision to not enforce federal law,” Timmons said, insisting that elected officials “enforce our laws or change them.”
Timmons hopes to be a communicator if elected to the House this fall, saying he doesn’t see America’s problems as strictly Republican or Democratic, and while he is confident in his opinions and policies, he doesn’t believe that those who think differently are subsequently inadequate.
“Just because I disagree with someone doesn’t mean they’re an idiot!” he joked.
Timmons faces Democrat Brandon Brown, a former state deputy director for Joe Biden during the 2008 presidential campaign, on Nov. 6 in the general election.