State Representative Chris Broadwater, vice chairman of the Labor and Industrial Relations Committee, has tendered his resignation from the Louisiana House, effective March 1.
"My decision was not influenced by anything inside the body, or the politics of it. Nor was it affected by things externally — by any scandal or anything else," the Hammond Republican states.
"It was a decision based purely upon a dad and a husband trying to do what he believed was best for his family."
Broadwater, who is halfway through his second term, says something that happened this past June was the trigger for this decision.
"It really hit home as I left Ways and Means and drove as fast as I could to Hammond," Broadwater explains.
"I got to the ballpark, and whenever I was walking up to the field, my wife said, 'You just missed Maggie Frances' last at-bat.' So I said, 'Well, what happened?' My wife said, 'She got a hit. She’s on base.'"
(Maggie Frances is the third of his four daughters. She's 12.)
"And I looked out onto the field, and the bases were loaded," he continues. "So I looked at first base, and then I looked at second base, and I looked at third base. And I couldn't figure out which one was my child. I had been gone so much through the year in legislative sessions, and she had grown so much while I was away."
His voice cracks, as he adds, "Frankly, it broke my heart."
Broadwater says he has enjoyed serving the state and his neighbors, as well as working with his fellow lawmakers, but he has also realized his youngest, Ruby Jane — born the night he was first elected — has never known her dad not to be away at the Capitol.
And when he told the girls of his decision?
“All four jumped up and cheered,” he says.
A special election for his replacement has been called Feb. 17, with qualifying to start Jan. 3.