Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) announced that he would not be running for re-election. Gowdy says he is leaving politics for a career back in the Justice System. Gowdy has led the House investigations into Hillary Clinton and the Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Gowdy released a statement on Twitter saying it's the right time for him to leave and return to the justice system. Rep. Gowdy has been silent on what he would do in the justice system. However, his announcement comes a day after a spot opened up on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, sparking speculation that he may be gunning for that seat.

Gowdy's decision makes him the latest Republican to announce his retirement. There is an uptick in the number of Republicans heading for the exit. However, Gowdy would be a shoe-in for re-election. He gained national recognition for his work as lead House investigator into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack, that killed four Americans.

Shortly after Gowdy's announcement, the NRCC released a statement praising Gowdy and said they were confident the GOP would retain control of the district. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley praised Gowdy as well.

Several South Carolina political figures have announced their intentions to run for Gowdy's seat. S.C. State Senator William Timmons announced his candidacy.

County Republican Party Chairman Josh Kimbrell announced his intention to run on Facebook.

Following the firing of FBI Director James Comey, Gowdy's name began to surface as a replacement. Instead, Trey Gowdy told AG Jeff Sessions he was not the right choice for FBI director. Gowdy was critical of the FBI's work during the 2016 election but has defended the special counsel investigation into possible Russia collusion.

Recently Gowdy has been one of the supporters of releasing a classified memo that alleges FBI abused its powers.

Along with Gowdy, 20 other Republican incumbents have announced their retirement. Democrats are only in need of 24 seats to reclaim the House. According to NBC News, there have only been two instances (9/11, Great Depression) where the president's party picked up seats during the midterm.

Gowdy said that whatever skills he has are better used in a courtroom than in Congress. Trey Gowdy has become the eighth Republican committee chairman to retire.

  1. Rep Jeb Hensarling - House Financial Services Committee
  2. Rep. Lamar Smith -- House Science, Space and Technology Committee
  3. Rep. Bob Goodlatte - House Judiciary Committee
  4. Rep. Bill Shuster -- House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
  5. Rep. Gregg Harper -- House Administration Committee
  6. Rep. Ed Royce -- House Foreign Affairs Committee
  7. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen -- House Appropriations Committee

Rep. Diane Black is expected to give up her position on the House Budget Committee, so she can run for Governor of Tennessee.