June 14 (UPI) -- Republican Indiana congresswoman Susan Brooks, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee recruitment efforts, said Friday she's leaving the House after her term expires in early 2021.
Brooks told the Indianapolis Star she would not seek re-election.
One of only 13 Republican women in House, Brooks' seat has been targeted by Democrats for 2020, when they will look to strengthen the party's hold on the chamber.
"While it may not be time for the party, it's time for me personally," Brooks 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 told Republican colleagues in April the GOP needs to recruit a more diverse group of candidates after 2018 midterm election losses in the House. She said Republican women mostly missed out in the wave of new female legislators in the 116th Congress.
"It's important that we, as a conference, do a better job of looking like America, and better representing the very diverse country that we have," Brooks told Roll Call after a meeting with her Republican conference.
Brooks said she expects her seat, which covers northern Indiana, to stay Republican in 2020. She won her district by nearly 14 points in the 2018 vote. Democrats noted, however, it was her most narrow victory in four campaigns. She said she has no problems with party leadership or policy, underscoring that her decision was strictly personal.
"It's a bit of a selfish decision. I appreciate that," Brooks said. "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 was first elected in 2012 and chaired the House ethics committee for two years, until Democrats took control of the chamber in January.