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Trump ally mounts bid to succeed Trey Gowdy

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Mark Burns, an evangelical pastor who was an early supporter of President Trump’s 2016 campaign, is mounting a bid to succeed Rep. Trey Gowdy (R) in South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District.

Burns announced the run in a video posted on Facebook and YouTube on Friday, in which he is billed as “Trump’s top pastor” and a defender of the brand of conservatism championed by former President Ronald Reagan. 

“We need to combat leftist, liberal ideology that’s dividing our nation. It’s creating dependency,” Burns told Bloomberg in an interview.

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“We need to create opportunities over dependency — dependency is what’s plaguing our low-income communities. As a black man, I’m able to say what white politicians cannot say because they don’t want to be labeled a racist.”

Gowdy announced late last month that he would not seek reelection later this year, saying that he planned to “return to the justice system.” He previously worked as a federal prosecutor before being elected to Congress.

Gowdy won reelection in 2016 with 67 percent of the vote, and his congressional district is considered a sure-thing for Republican candidates. 

According to the Greenville News, Burns is the sixth Republican to enter the race to succeed Gowdy. Four Democrats are also running for the seat.

Burns gave a speech in support of Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention, and currently serves as a member of the president’s Faith Advisory Council. 

Tags Donald Trump Trey Gowdy

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