COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina Rep. Harry Ott is stepping down to take a farm job in President Barack Obama's administration.
The St. Matthews Democrat's voice waivered as he announced his decision Wednesday on the House floor.
He will step down at the end of this week to take over as state director for the U.S. Farm Service Agency. The organization helps farmers with commodity programs, loans and disaster relief.
Ott served as House minority leader for eight years before deciding not to run for re-election in January, saying he couldn't commit to another two years in the post. He spent 15 years in the House.
Ott is a farmer who grows cotton, peanuts and other crops. A special election will be held to fill his seat.Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.