Congressman Trey Gowdy talks with FOX Carolina about decision no - FOX Carolina 21

Congressman Trey Gowdy talks with FOX Carolina about decision not to run for re-election

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Rep. Trey Gowdy (Source: Associated Press) Rep. Trey Gowdy (Source: Associated Press)

For the first time since announcing in January that he wouldn't be running for re-election, Congressman Trey Gowdy spoke to FOX Carolina about the decision.

He's currently on a book tour as part of a joint venture with Senator Tim Scott called 'Unified,' and the pair is hoping their message will set a new tone for the nation.

While in Spartanburg on Thursday for a stop along the tour, FOX Carolina spoke with Gowdy about his decision to leave Washington.

"I was born in the Upstate, I have lived in the Upstate, I will die in the Upstate so I am grateful for what's been an incredible privilege and an honor but it's time to let somebody else do it," said Gowdy. "I am at total peace with it."

Gowdy went on to hint at another important reason he wanted to step away from the political arena.

"I don't know if you saw my wife, she's here - that's a real good reason," the Congressman joked. "She's really, really, really cute and very, very sweet and we've been married 28 years...this is just a season of life where I'd like to be home more."

Gowdy has represented South Carolina’s 4th District since 2011. Back in January when he first announced the decision, his office released the following statement on his behalf:

"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."

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Trey Gowdy announces he will not seek re-election

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