Rep. John Fleming, R-La., said Wednesday morning that Tea Party favorite Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., won't run for a fourth term, and instead plans to retire at the end of the current Congress to return to his home state.
"Trey wants to go back to South Carolina, and God bless him for that," Fleming said on C-SPAN. When asked if that's what Gowdy has told other Republicans, Fleming confirmed it.
"At the end of his term, yes," he said. "He plans to go back home, and he wants to finish his work on the Benghazi special committee. But he loves South Carolina and he loves his family, and he wants to go back and spend the rest of his life there."
"He'll be sorely missed," he added.
Gowdy's office reacted by saying the congressman hasn't announced anything yet, and seemed to downplay Fleming's comments.
"No, he is not announcing his retirement," Gowdy spokeswoman Amanda Duvall told the Washington Examiner. "He has not made any announcement on 2016, anything else is incorrect."
Gowdy has become a favorite of conservatives for his precise legal attacks against Obama administration officials and congressional Democrats, which are often delivered in the style of a litigator. His work on the House Select Committee on Benghazi has been credited by some for uncovering former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email system.
His name has been floated by conservative members of Congress this week as a possible candidate to run for House majority leader.
This story was last updated at 10:40 a.m.