Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) will not seek a seek re-election next November, she announced on Friday. Beyond vacating a swing district in the northern suburbs of Indianapolis, Brooks’ decision presents another major blow to her party’s chances of regaining the majority in the House of Representatives: she was literally the person in charge of recruitment for that effort.
Brooks is one of just 13 women in the 198-member House Republican caucus. In January, she was appointed by National Republican Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) to be his vice chair for recruitment.
In the months since, she has attempted to push her party to find candidates who “do a better job of looking like America, and better representing the very diverse country that we have,” and vowed a “significant” emphasis towards finding more women and people of color to run for Congress as Republicans.
— J. Miles Coleman (@JMilesColeman) June 14, 2019
But less than five months after agreeing to lead the effort, Brooks told USA Today that she has opted not to be one of those women.
“While it may not be time for the party, it’s time for me personally,” she told the paper in an interview published Friday. “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 added in an email to supporters that she understood the optics of her move will lead to “much, MUCH, conjecture” about her decision. She told USA Today that she would understand if her party wants to replace her as recruitment head, but said she had no idea what they would do as she had not yet told them of her decision.
Brooks’s time in Congress has been marked by several examples of great hypocrisy.
She urged action last year to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, but declined to sign the discharge petition that would have brought it up for a vote. Though 23 House Republicans bucked their party’s leadership to try pass the bill, it ultimately fell just two signatures shy.
And though she publicly opposed shutting down the government to force taxpayer funding for President Donald Trump’s proposed southern border wall, she repeatedly voted against Democratic efforts to end what became the longest partial government shutdown in the nation’s history.