Nearly three years after being nominated to the Federal Election Commission by President Donald Trump, Texas election lawyer James E. “Trey” Trainor III has finally been confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the last obstacle before officially filling the position.
Trainor was first nominated for the post in September of 2017. In addition to serving as legal counsel for numerous Republican officials and conservative groups, including Empower Texans and Texas Right to Life, he also advised the president’s campaign in 2016.
The vote came on Monday afternoon and, unsurprisingly, on partisan lines, with 49 Republicans voting in favor of approving the nomination and 43 Democrats voting against.
With Trainor’s addition to the six-person commission, the FEC now finally has a quorum. The other three members on the commission are serving long past their original appointments. Each member is supposed to serve a six-year term, with two posts up for reappointment every two years.
Commissioners are also appointed on a partisan basis to balance the number of Republicans and Democrats on the commission. Standard practice has been for FEC nominees to be paired between the parties, but Democrats have delayed putting forward qualified candidates for the president’s nomination.
“I’m grateful for the trust President Donald J. Trump has placed in me, and I am heartened by the confirmation of the U.S. Senate,” Trainor said after the confirmation. “I look forward to serving the American people in this important position.”
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz also applauded Trainor’s confirmation.
“I’ve known Trey for more than two decades, and during that time, he has been a friend and an effective advocate for the rule of law. He is a Texan and a talented lawyer with deep experience in the issues he will face as a commissioner,” said Cruz.
“Trey is a strong addition to the FEC, and I’m glad the Senate has confirmed him,” he added.
Trainor is a graduate of Texas A&M University and what is now the Texas A&M School of Law. An Army veteran, Trainor and his family live in Driftwood.