Rumors are now buzzing about whether Fourth District Congressman Trey Gowdy plans to seek reelection next year after a Louisiana representative let slip that Gowdy apparently spoke about his political future in a private meeting.
The whole thing began Wednesday morning after Congressman John Fleming, R-La., was asked during a CSPAN interview about Gowdy’s lack of interest in any House leadership positions when House Speaker John Boehner retires next month. Gowdy has said he is not interested in seeking the Speaker’s position or the House Majority Leader.
“He wants to finish his work on the Benghazi special committee,” Fleming told CSPAN. “But he loves South Carolina, he loves his family, and he wants to go back and spend the rest of his life there.”
When the CSPAN questioner then asked if Gowdy had told him he plans to leave Washington, Fleming answered, “Yes, he plans to go back home.”
Gowdy’s spokesman immediately denied the congressman had said that. Amanda Duvall said Gowdy has not made any announcement about his future. Gowdy later told reporters while walking through the U.S. Capitol that he has every intention of running again next year.
Fleming later sought to retract his CSPAN remark, saying he misunderstood Gowdy’s words. “I apologized to Trey privately for having misspoken on his future plans, but wanted to make this apology public,” Fleming later said.
Fellow South Carolina Congressman Mick Mulvaney also said Fleming’s initial comments were not true. “Sometimes the rumor mill can really get out of hand: Trey Gowdy is NOT retiring from Congress,” Mulvaney posted on his Twitter feed Wednesday. “I have said before and I will say again: he would never leave in the middle of the Benghazi investigation. He is here, at the very least, until it is finished. I can say this on fairly good authority, b’c I just spoke w’ Trey about this. I hope that puts any speculation to rest.”