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Newsmakers: Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy

Newsmaker Trey Gowdy, Tim Scott (copy)

U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., campaign for Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, in Greenville on Feb. 18. File/Alex Sanz/AP

One of Capitol Hill's most well-established friendships is between two of the Republican Party's more tandem lawmakers: Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy.

In appearances alone, they strike an unlikely pairing. Scott, the South Carolina delegation's only black Republican, is broad-shouldered and bald. Gowdy, shorter and more compact, is constantly teased for his haircuts.

Their mutual affection is unquestionable. Gowdy refers to Scott as "Timmy," describing him as "the best person in politics." Scott has made it his personal mission to get Gowdy, a former 7th Circuit solicitor from Spartanburg, a job as a federal judge.

The past 12 months were a banner time for both. Scott won re-election in November, picking up his first full term in the U.S. Senate. Gowdy won re-election, too, but was more visible as the thorn in Hillary Clinton's side over the Benghazi hearing into her role as secretary of state.

In addition to being friends, Scott and Gowdy have also teamed up professionally. During the presidential primary they traveled the country to support Florida Republican Marco Rubio. After a spate of shootings involving black men and white police officers, they launched a listening tour throughout the state, seeking frank conversations with individuals representing law enforcement and faith communities.

Going forward, there remains a chance Scott and Gowdy could pair up as governor and lieutenant governor candidates, though that door seems to be more closed than open for now. Whatever happens in 2017, their friendship won't ebb. They dine together most evenings in Washington, D.C.

Emma Dumain is The Post and Courier's Washington correspondent. Reach her at 843-834-0419 and follow her @emma_dumain.

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