By Gabrielle Levy, US News & World Report
Rep. Trey Gowdy, right, who is the chairman of the House’s Select Committee on Benghazi, is neither running for majority leader nor retiring after this term, his spokeswoman says.
“Trey wants to go back to South Carolina, and God bless him for that,” Rep. John Fleming, R-La., said on C-SPAN Wednesday morning.
“He plans to go back home, and he wants to finish his work on the Benghazi special committee, but he loves South Carolina and he loves his family, and he wants to go back and spend the rest of his life there,” Fleming explained.
“He’ll be sorely missed,” he added.
Gowdy’s office, however, immediately denied Fleming’s interpretation.
“No, he is not announcing his retirement,” Gowdy spokeswoman Amanda Duvall told the Washington Examiner.” He has not made any announcement on 2016, anything else is incorrect.”
Gowdy was first elected in the tea party wave of 2010 and represents South Carolina’s conservative 4th District. And while he has indicated in the past his intentions to return to South Carolina at some point, he apparently is not going yet.
The confusion followed a day of pressure on Gowdy from within the Republican caucus for him to run for majority leader, a role expected to open up when House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio resigns at the end of October. Sitting Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California is hoping to succeed Boehner in the top spot, and likely won’t face much competition for the gavel.