A Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives is calling it quits.
Rep. Susan Brooks (IN) announced on Friday that she will not be seeking re-election in 2020.
Brooks Bows Out
The Indiana representative explained her decision in an exclusive interview with USA Today.
“While it may not be time for the party, it’s time for me personally,” she said. “This really is not about the party. It’s not about the politics. It’s just about, ‘How do I want to spend the next chapter of my life?'”
Brooks went on to acknowledge that there is a selfish aspect to the decision.
“It’s a bit of a selfish decision. I appreciate that,” she said. “But I also think what people need to appreciate is, once you enter elected office, it’s okay to walk away. It’s okay to break the rules and not stay in the game until you’re defeated or something bad happens in your career.”
Brooks is one of only 13 Republican women in the House — the lowest number in 25 years. She had made it a goal of hers to get more Republican women elected to Congress.
In fact, the GOP made her head of recruitment for 2020. But now that she has withdrawn from running that year, she may be removed from the position, a move that she says she would understand.
“I have no idea what they’re going to do,” she told supporters, referring to the GOP.
Surely, Brooks’ decision must have come as a surprise to party leaders, whom Brooks said she did not inform.
Still, some members of the House, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), praised Brooks for the work she has done, referring to her as a “dear friend” who has demonstrated “what leadership in public service is meant to be.
“She has taken bold and principled positions and pushed our conference to understand the challenges and opportunities our country faces,” he said. “Her presence, advice and sound judgment will be missed in the next Congress, but I wish her and her family only the best when they embark on their next chapter.”
Meanwhile, House Democrats are claiming that this is a sign that Republicans have no real hope to retake the majority in 2020. Only time will tell.