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U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy leaving politics

WASHINGTON, DC (WSPA) - U.S. Rep.Trey Gowdy announced that he will not run for re-election to Congress or any other political or elected office.

The announcement was made in a Tweet on Wednesday morning.

The Republican says his skills are better utilized in a courtroom than Congress. Prior to serving as a Congressman, he served as the 7th Circuit Solicitor.

Gowdy represents the Fourth Congressional District, which includes Greenville and Spartanburg counties. He currently serves as chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

He tweeted "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."

Here is his full statement:

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.

There is no perfect time to make this announcement, but with filing opening in six weeks, it is important to give the women and men in South Carolina who might be interested in serving ample time to reflect on the decision.

To my wife, Terri, and our two children, Watson and Abigail: thank you for all you sacrificed, missed, or did alone so I could serve as both a prosecutor and a member of the House.

To my parents and my three sisters: thank you for having confidence in me and high expectations for me, even when I did not.

To the women and men I worked with at the South Carolina Court of Appeals, the United States District Court, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the 7th Circuit Solicitor's Office, and in Congress: thank you for the texture, depth and joy you added to life.

To the law enforcement officers and victims of crime: thank you for personifying courage.

To those across South Carolina and our country who, over the past 7 years, have expressed words of encouragement, accountability and even criticism: thank you. All are needed for those in public service.

The book of Ecclesiastes teaches us there is a time and a season for all things. There is a time to start and a time to end. 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."

Senator Tim Scott released the following statement about Gowdy's announcement:

I want to thank Trey not just for his service to the Upstate, or his love for South Carolina, or his commitment to justice and the truth, but for being the honest, good hearted man I know he is and will continue to be. He has always put the people of Greenville-Spartanburg first, despite his Congressional responsibilities grabbing so many national headlines.

I am so happy for the Gowdy family, as I know they will be thrilled to have Trey back home more often, and for Trey because of everything he has accomplished in Congress. I know for him this is simply the end of one chapter in a long book, and I am forever grateful for the friendship we have forged over the past eight years."

He also Tweeted a picture with the caption "Also, barbershops in @SpartanburgCity rejoice!"

Gov. Henry McMaster issued a statement on Gowdy's retirement from Congress Wednesday, saying "I have witnessed first hand Representative Gowdy's dedication and commitment to justice from the courtroom to Congress. His leadership and service on behalf of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Fourth Congressional District, South Carolina, and America has been exemplary, and deserves the appreciation of all."


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