Yesterday, there was some speculation that Trey Gowdy. might consider running for Speaker of the House, challenging House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy., who is Boehner’s. obvious successor. Gowdy’s office quickly dismissed those rumors, saying that he had no interest in a leadership position.
Today, the news is even more dire. According to Congressional sources, Gowdy is not just uninterested in taking on greater responsibility in Congress. He’s uninterested in remaining there for very long at all, beyond the 2016 elections, a sentiment apparently revealed as his office tried to dispel rumors of his desire for a greater role.
Rep. John Fleming., R-La., said Wednesday morning that Tea Party favorite Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., won’t run for a fourth term, and instead plans to retire at the end of the current Congress to return to his home state.
“Trey wants to go back to South Carolina, and God bless him for that,” Fleming said on C-SPAN. When asked if that’s what Gowdy has told other Republicans, Fleming confirmed it.
“At the end of his term, yes,” he said. “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.”
Gowdy’s office responded this morning, but they also seem to indicate that Gowdy is at least considering an end to his tenure, even though they couch the possibility with a denial. He has options, of course. Nikki Haley has to leave the governor’s mansion in a few short years, and he could go back to a more comfortable, managerial position as governor, and I’m certain he’s being courted for it. But that said, he’d be giving up a lot of power in the House, and there are few opportunities to make the kind of inroads Gowdy’s made as a governor (though, if the Republicans lose in 2016, it’s possible, I suppose, he could have a significant impact on national policy as a vocal proponent for his state).
But he could also end up as House Majority Leader on a compromise slate, that sees Kevin McCarthy ascend to Boehner’s throne, but with Gowdy in place as a paean to conservatives. It’d be silly to leave now and leave that behind. Right?
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