WASHINGTON (CNN) - Florida Rep. Adam Putnam, a former member of the House Republican leadership, said Sunday he will leave Congress to run for agriculture commissioner in his home state next year.
Putnam, the former chairman of the House Republican Conference, said he would file paperwork Monday to seek the office in 2010.
"It's always been well known that my first love is Florida," Putnam told CNN in a brief telephone interview.
Putnam, 34, rose quickly through Republican ranks after winning his first term in the House of Representatives in 2000. He became GOP conference chairman - the No. 3 post in the party's leadership - in 2006.
But he opted out of seeking the leadership post again after November's Republican losses. Meanwhile, rank-and-file conservatives in the House criticized the leadership's support of the Bush administration's $700 billion financial bailout.
Putnam said his decision had less to do with life in the House minority and more about wanting to return home to focus on agriculture and food safety issues. His family's business is in the citrus and cattle industries.
"I'm a Floridian first," he said, adding, "Despite being in my fifth term, I haven't caught Potomac Fever yet."
Putnam said he intends to serve out the remainder of his current term.