Rep. Trey Gowdy plans to retire at the end of the current session of Congress to return to his home state of South Carolina, Louisiana Rep. John Fleming said Wednesday.
"Trey wants to go back to South Carolina, and God bless him for that," Fleming told C-SPAN of his Republican colleague.
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Gowdy, who is in his third term, chairs the special committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks. Fleming told C-SPAN that he has told other House Republicans that he was quitting.
"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. He'll be sorely missed."
A Gowdy spokeswoman, however, told The Washington Examiner
that the former prosecutor has made no such announcement.
"No, he is not announcing his retirement," Amanda Duvall said. "He has not made any announcement on 2016, anything else is incorrect."
Duvall reiterated her comments to Newsmax late Wednesday.
Fleming's interview came amid news reports that outgoing House Speaker John Boehner secretly approached Gowdy about running for House majority leader, an idea that the Benghazi panel chairman quickly quashed Tuesday.
The current No. 2 Republican, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, is expected to be elected to Boehner's position when the caucus votes next week.
That would set off a scramble for McCarthy's position — and conservatives are pushing hard to get someone within the leadership and to set the agenda for the rest of the session.
Boehner, who abruptly announced Friday that he was quitting next month after representing Ohio since 1990, "has always been a fan of Trey’s and thinks he’s done a tremendous job as chairman of the Benghazi select committee and he thinks he would do the same thing if he had gotten into the leader race," a close Boehner associate told Politico
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