CHARLESTON, SC (AP) - South Carolina's U.S. Rep. Henry Brown is leaving Congress, but may not be leaving politics.
Brown, 74, announced in January he would not seek a sixth term in Congress in the state's coastal 1st Congressional District.
But now the Republican lawmaker who has also held office at the local and state levels, says he's looking at running for Berkeley County supervisor, although he tells the AP he's not ready yet to say exactly what his plans are.
Brown has scheduled a Friday news conference in Moncks Corner to discuss his future.
"I'm considering it, and we'll have a firm decision by Friday. We're still thinking about it and talking to people and trying to come up with the best direction," he said.
"I know we had that meeting in January and I said I was going to retire from Congress and didn't know what else I might do," he said. "My biggest objection to all this process was travel — to come up to Washington every week and go home every week."
Brown said he's been traveling almost every week to either Washington or the state capital of Columbia for 26 years.
As for extending his political career, Brown said "this has been a pretty interesting time for me. I had no notion I might want to do it but a lot of people have been talking to me about doing it and it's been resonating."
Brown grew up on a Berkeley County farm to become one of South Carolina's most powerful state lawmakers before embarking on a second political career in Congress.
Brown, a former grocery store chain executive, was first elected to Congress in 2000 in the reliably Republican congressional district when now-Gov. Mark Sanford left to honor a self-imposed three-term limit.
Before that, Brown served 14 years in the South Carolina House of Representatives, where from 1995 through 1999 he was chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
Four Republicans, including incumbent county Supervisor Dan Davis, have announced for the supervisors race in Berkeley County, northwest of Charleston. The supervisor is the county's chief executive officer.
Meanwhile, the race for Brown's congressional seat in a district running from near Charleston to the North Carolina state line has drawn intense interest. Thirteen candidates, including nine Republicans, three Democrats and an Independence Party candidate, have announced.
Two of the Republicans have well-known political names. Paul Thurmond is the son of the late U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, while Carroll Campbell III, is the son of the late Gov. Carroll Campbell.