House Oversight Chair Gowdy Won’t Seek Re-Election

(CN) — South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of House Oversight Committee, says he will not seek re-election.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Gowdy said “There is a time to come and a time to go. This is the right time, for me, to leave politics and return to the justice system.”

“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 continued. “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, who leads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is the tenth GOP committee chairman to announce his departure this election cycle.

Prior to taking the helm of the oversight committee, Gowdy was best known for leading the House Select Committee on Benghazi, a controversial committee that investigated the 2012 deaths of four Americans stationed in Benghazi.

Gowdy is a former assistant U.S. attorney who served as a county solicitor in South Carolina’s Seventh Judicial Circuit, comprising Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties.

Gowdy’s name has regularly been floated  as a potential pick by the Trump administration to fill a judicial appointment.

While he’s rejected such speculation in the past, a vacancy on the Fourth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over South Carolina, opened up on Wednesday with the announcement that U.S. Circuit Judge Dennis Shedd would assume senior judge status as of today. Shedd will continue maintain a staff and hear cases, but he will have a reduced case load.

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