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Jefferson Parish Republican abruptly resigns from La. House

January 12, 2021 GMT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana lawmaker from Jefferson Parish has abruptly resigned from his elected position only a year after taking office.

The House of Representatives clerk’s office confirmed Tuesday that Republican Rep. Charles Henry submitted his resignation to House Speaker Clay Schexnayder on Monday. The resignation from the 105-member chamber was effective immediately.

“As of today, he is no longer a member,” said House Clerk Michelle Fontenot.

Henry was elected to the seat in 2019. Previously, he had been chief of staff for Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, who once held the state House seat that Henry vacated.

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“With the birth of my son last spring and the pandemic, like so many Americans, I’ve had to shift priorities,” Henry said in a statement Tuesday. “I’ve been thinking and praying about this now for the last few months, and it just makes sense to make the move now and give the people of District 82 time to elect a new representative for the upcoming legislative session.”

The next legislative session begins in April.

Henry’s official resignation letter was brief, notifying Schexnayder he was exiting the House immediately and describing it as an honor to serve over the last year. He also offered to help Schexnayder “with any preparations you need to transition my replacement.”

Henry didn’t return a phone call seeking information. His brother, Republican state Sen. Cameron Henry, and Schexnayder also didn’t immediately respond to calls for comment.