WASHINGTON, March 6 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., the only woman chair of a standing committee in the House, said she will not run for re-election in 2016.
Miller told the Detroit Free Press she thought she had been in Washington, D.C., long enough and wanted to spend more time in her home state of Michigan.
"Look, I'm going to finish my term here and do it to the best of my ability but when I'm done that will be 14 years in Washington," she said. "It's time for me to come home."
"Our founding fathers created an incredible republic and every generation has stepped up and taken the baton, and done their part to preserve and expand liberty, democracy and that most precious element of the human experience, freedom," she said in a statement. "I freely pass the baton to whomever my community chooses to serve as their next voice in the U.S. House of Representatives."
Prior to being elected to the House in 2003, she served two terms as the Michigan secretary of state.
Miller said she had no plans for what she'll do when she returns to the state but won't rule out the possibility of running for a state office.
Miller is chairman of the House Administration Committee and her departure would mean a major reduction in the number of women in leadership roles in Congress.
Of the 435 members in the House of Representatives, 84 -- or 19.3 percent -- are women. Of those women, only three hold leadership positions -- Miller, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as the Democratic leader and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., as Republican conference leader.
Women make up 19.4 percent of both chambers of Congress and three currently hold chairman positions among 47 committees. In addition to Miller, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Ark. heads the Senate Energy and National Resources committee and U.S. Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, is in charge of the Special Committee on Aging.
Six percent of all committee leadership roles in Congress are held by women and if you consider only standing committees -- those permanently established by House and Senate rules, like the House Administration and Energy and National Resources committees -- that percentage drops down even further.