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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, June 15, 2019 1:00 am

Furthermore ...

Brooks bidding farewell to Congress

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks' announcement Friday that she won't be seeking reelection next year may make it a bit awkward for her to continue being in charge of recruiting Republican congressional candidates for the 2020 race. Brooks told the Indianapolis Star's Maureen Groppe she wants to spend more time with her family.

The congresswoman, who grew up in Fort Wayne and graduated from Homestead High School, is in her fourth term representing Indiana's 5th District, which comprises northern sections of Indianapolis and several counties to the northeast of the capital city.

Brooks has been viewed as an effective and relatively moderate lawmaker.

Her decision to retire is not good news for the GOP. Though the number of Democratic women in Congress is soaring, Brooks is one of just 13 Republican women – the lowest number since the early 1990s.

Brooks won reelection easily last year, but Democrats say the 5th District winds are shifting their way, noting that though he lost the statewide race for U.S. Senate to Republican Sen. Mike Braun, Democrat Joe Donnelly received more votes in the district last year.

Brooks told the Star she was sure her decision would be widely second-guessed and acknowledged it might be viewed as “a bit of a selfish decision. ... But I also think what people need to appreciate is, once you enter elected office, it's OK to walk away. It's OK to break the rules and not stay in the game until you're defeated or something bad happens in your career.”