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South Carolina - 4th District

Incumbent -- Bob Inglis (R) ; Defeated by Trey Gowdy, R, in primary runoff on June 22, 2010

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key

Updated Oct. 14, 2010

Spartanburg County Solicitor Trey Gowdy capitalized on the national anti-establishment mood in June to knock off Inglis in the GOP primary.

Gowdy's victory in the Spartanburg- and Greenville-based district was built on his ability to paint Inglis as a Washington insider who had strayed from his conservative values and become too moderate during his time in Congress. He was also helped by a strong fundraising effort that never allowed the Congressman to build an overwhelming financial advantage.

Gowdy will now coast to victory in the overwhelmingly Republican district that is home to the conservative Bob Jones University.


District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Nestled in South Carolina's "upstate" region, the 4th is the state's most compact district and is centered on Greenville, the state's most-populous county. Greenville and Spartanburg counties together account for 95 percent of the district population. The 4th also takes in the northernmost tip of Laurens County and Union County, a heavily forested and lightly populated area.

Once known only for its textile mills, the area is now home to diversified manufacturing and warehousing industries. Michelin's North American base is in Greenville, and Spartanburg's BMW plant is the exclusive producer of several of the carmaker's sport utility models. Greenville has become a research hub, hosting the 250-acre International Center for Automotive Research -- a public-private venture with Clemson University -- and adjacent Millennium Campus office park.

The area is no longer the textile capital of the world, but trade issues are still important here. Industry giant Milliken & Co. maintains its headquarters in Spartanburg. Agriculture also plays a role near Spartanburg, and the county's orchards yield large peach crops.

The combination of business-oriented conservatives and social conservatives focused around Greenville's Bob Jones University keeps the 4th solidly Republican. John McCain won 60 percent of the 4th's 2008 presidential vote, and Republican Gov. Nikki Haley won both Greenville and Spartanburg counties easily in 2010.

Major Industry

Manufacturing, agriculture, textiles


Greenville, 58,409; Spartanburg, 37,013; Greer, 25,515; Mauldin, 22,889


Spartanburg was named for the local "Spartan Rifles" Revolutionary War militia.




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