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Award Spotlight: Rep. Gary Clary

February 27th, 2018
By Shelley Robbins

Left to right: Mark Taylor, Rep. Gary Clary, Andrea Cooper

Representative Gary Clary of Pickens was honored with the Public Servant of the Year Award at the 2018 ForeverGreen Awards Luncheon.

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Rep. Gary Clary is a South Carolina native, lifelong Republican, retired circuit court judge, and a proud graduate of Clemson University. Representing the Clemson area, Clary has served in the Statehouse since 2014. Judge Clary has a reputation for standing up for conservation issues and citizens’ rights to intervene on environmental issues that will affect them.

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In his role as a member of the Judiciary Committee, Clary worked with the Pickens County delegation to introduce and pass a bill to prohibit coal ash from being dumped in unlined landfills, protecting both public health and water quality across the state. He actively worked with bipartisan allies on the floor of the House to stop the advancement of the Automatic Stay Bill in 2017, which would have limited the ability of citizens to engage in the public permitting process. He continues that fight this session. In addition, Clary led multiple fights on the House floor against a range of bills aimed at limiting property owners’ ability to hold neighboring industry accountable.

Rep. Clary was one of the first Upstate legislators to fight against the anti-home rule bill that attempted to limit the ability of local communities to find local solutions to local plastic pollution. He has also been a long-standing advocate for land protection through reauthorization of the Conservation Bank. Locally, Representative Clary negotiated an agreement between Clemson University and a Clemson neighborhood to relocate a proposed combined heat and power plant away from the neighborhood and closer to the campus it would serve.

Rep. Clary is married to Patricia Brumbach Clary, who retired from the faculty of the Mary Black School of Nursing at USC Upstate. They have two children, Adair Clary Pederson, a public school teacher and Lawson Brumbach Clary, an ordained minister. They also have four grandchildren.

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