U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) speaks during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee June 11, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
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U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) speaks during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee June 11, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Story highlights

Mia Love promoted Gowdy for leadership post

Gowdy staying on as Benghazi Committee chair

Washington CNN —  

Rep. Trey Gowdy on Tuesday shot down calls for him to run for House majority leader and said he had no interest in seeking the post.

“I’ve never run for any leadership position, and I’m not going to start now,” Gowdy said. “Don’t know how I can be any more definitive.”

The Benghazi Committee chairman’s comments came after Rep. Mia Love said Gowdy would jump into the contest for majority leader if asked to do so.

“He said that he would join if he was asked to serve,” the Utah Republican, who is leading a draft Gowdy effort, told CNN.

Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Budget Chairman Tom Price are already in the race for the majority leader post after Rep. John Boehner steps down at the end of the month and current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy seeks the speakership.

Gowdy’s office said earlier Tuesday that the former federal prosecutor’s attention is on chairing the special House committee investigation of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

“Chairman Gowdy is focused on the Benghazi Committee and will serve in that capacity so long as the Committee exists,” the statement said.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney also tweeted that he spoke with Gowdy and the tea party Republican from South Carolina said he was not interested in the post.

Mulvaney, a South Carolina colleague of Gowdy’s and his good friend, said, “l had to beg Trey to run for re-election in 2014. I absolutely think he’ll run again in 2016 for one reason and one reason only…he’s staying until the Benghazi Commission is finished. That’s it. He may leave after, but he’s certainly not leaving before then.”

Mulvaney said if members voted for Gowdy anyway and tried to get him to serve in leadership, he’d likely quit Congress.

Earlier Tuesday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz told CNN that he had several conversations with Gowdy and the South Carolina lawmaker indicated he would seek the post if drafted. Chaffetz said Gowdy isn’t the kind of person who would “beat the bushes” for votes, but would be responsive to a draft movement.

On Fox News, Chaffetz said Gowdy could unite the conference better than anyone else.

“I think Trey Gowdy as the majority leader would be heaven sent. It would really, really propel the Republicans in the right direction,” Chaffetz said.

“If you want the best person to make the Republican case, if you want the best person to talk about why conservatism is the right answer for America, Trey Gowdy is our best foot forward,” he added. “I think we as a conference need to get behind that and make it happen. And if he’s called, if he’s asked, I think he’ll do it.”

CNN’s Manu Raju and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.