Clary is a marketing professional from Cherryville, North Carolina. In 2008, Clary retired her house seat to run for N.C. Senate District 46. On November 4, 2008, Clary defeated former Rutherford County Clerk of Court Keith H. Melton to win the seat.
In June 2011, Clary announced that she would be retiring from the State Senate. Her resignation became effective January 10, 2012.