This one is a bummer… South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, announced today that he will be retiring from Congress at the end of his term.
The no-nonsense congressman is the latest high-profile committee chairman to decide to not seek re-election.
“I will not be filing for re-election to Congress nor seeking any other political or elected office; instead I will be returning to the justice system,” Gowdy said in a statement.
Gowdy, once a federal prosecutor, was elected to Congress in 2010 and quickly rose to fame for his part in the investigations of the Obama administration scandals via the Oversight Committee and later as the House Select Committee chairman on Benghazi.
Since then, the South Carolina rep. has been very outspoken about the FBI and their investigation into failed presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s email practices, the Russia probe on President Trump, as well as the FISA Abuse memo.
“Whatever skills I may have are better utilized in a courtroom than in Congress, and I enjoy our justice system more than our political system,” he said. “As I look back on my career, it is the jobs that both seek and reward fairness that are most rewarding.”
Gowdy joins a parade of committee chairs who are leaving at the end of the year.
Gowdy is one of many committee chairs who are leaving at the end of the year, including:
Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith of Texas; Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce of California; Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia; Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania; Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas; House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper of Mississippi; House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black of Tennessee and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen.
“He will be sorely missed in Congress, and I wish him and his family success in their future endeavors,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers said in a statement. “The NRCC is confident this seat will stay solidly in Republican control in November.”
What’s worse is that this slew of Republicans seeking retirement or wanting to run for another office is reminiscent of the 1994 congressional elections when the GOP took back the House during Bill Clinton’s first term due to a large number of Democratic retires at the time.
We’ll see what happens…