In some bad news for conservatives, South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy has announced that this is his last term in the House and that he will not run for re-election.
Gowdy released a statement on his decision, which stated in part:
“Words cannot adequately express my gratitude to the people of South Carolina for the privilege of representing them in the House of Representatives. The Upstate of South Carolina has an incredible depth and breadth of assets including numerous women and men capable of representing us. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve in the People’s House and — prior to Congress — to advocate on behalf of justice in our court systems.
“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. 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. As I look back on my career, it is the jobs that both seek and reward fairness that are most rewarding.”
As noted, this is bad news for conservatives. Rep. Gowdy has been a rock star for the right and has led some of the best investigations and causes in the House of Representatives.
Gowdy may have foretold his announcement when earlier this month he stepped down from his role with the House Ethics Committee.
In his January 10 letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R, WS), Gowdy said that he was overworked, The Hill reported.
“When I became Chairperson of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform I knew I would not be able to keep all other committee assignments to include Judiciary, Intelligence and Ethics,” Gowdy wrote.
“Four committee assignments, including a Chairmanship, is a challenging workload,” the letter said.
Gowdy said that he wanted to finish out 2017 before tendering his resignation from the Ethics Committee.
Gowdy is just one more in a growing list of Republicans that are retiring this year and won’t be returning to Congress.
In fact, the number of politicians leaving office should alarm Republicans hoping to keep control of the House after the Senate in the 2018 midterm elections.
A recent piece at Quartz Media notes that 35 members of the GOP are leaving Congress this year.
Today Gowdy announced he was leaving office, but yesterday New Jersey Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen said he was done, too.
Worse for the party, many of those retiring are chairmen of committees.
Some of the nine resigning chairs, including Jeb Hensarling of the Financial Services Committee and Lamar Smith of the Science, Space and Technology Committee, would not have retained their plum posts due to term limits. But several could have expected to be in key positions if the Republicans hold on to their majority‚ like Diane Black of the Budget Committee, Greg Harper of the House Administration Committee, or Jason Chaffetz of the House Oversight Committee, who retired last summer.
Many of these retirements are an indication of how the members feel about their chances of being re-elected.
None of this bodes well for the GOP in the next two election cycles. And now we add conservative warrior Trey Gowdy to this list.
[Note: This post was written by Warner Todd Huston]