Looks as if South Carolina U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy is taking himself out of the running for House majority leader.
After a day of speculation and encouragement from his fellow Republicans, Gowdy, of Spartanburg, and a tea party favorite, said he doesn’t want the job.
“I am staying on the Benghazi committee, period, exclamation point,” he said just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, The Washington Post reported.
His exit means Republicans must still find a No. 2 leader to get behind.
One of Gowdy’s allies and Upstate supporters, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., also let on in a tweet earlier Tuesday that that Gowdy would not be in the mix.
He “made it clear that he is OUT of any consideration for any leadership position” Mulvaney said of their 20-minute discussion Tuesday.
Multiple GOP leaders were pushing Gowdy.
“Trey Gowdy as majority leader would be heaven-sent,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, Chaffetz told Fox and Friends. “It would really propel Republicans in the right direction.”
Others are already in the running. Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga., have both announced bids .
Gowdy, of Spartanburg, is a former federal prosecutor, and chairman of the special House committee investigating the 2012 fatal terror attack on the U.S. consolute in Benghazi, Libya. The committee is largely responsible for the effort to unravel former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email useage.
GOP leaders are expected to meet later Tuesday night about the leadership slots. The actual selection could come next week.
Incumbent Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is seeking to become the next Speaker of the House after Ohio Rep. John Boehner’s abrupt resignation last week.