- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A ranking Republican lawmaker abruptly resigned from the Indiana House after sending a text message apology for “anything offensive” that may have been sent from his cellphone.

House Majority Leader Jud McMillin of Brookville said in a statement Tuesday that he was giving up his seat “to focus all of my attention on making my family’s world a better place.”

The decision comes a week after McMillin texted multiple people stating that his cellphone had been stolen and apologizing for messages they may have received from his number. Details about the content of those messages have not been revealed.

“My phone was stolen 24 hours ago in Canada. I have just been able to reactivate it under my control,” reads the text, which was obtained by The Associated Press. “Please disregard any messages you received recently. I am truly sorry for anything offensive you may have received.”

The Associated Press spoke to two people who received the text and obtained a copy of it from one of them. The two requested anonymity because it was a private message.

McMillin did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, issued a statement thanking McMillin for his service and said the Republican Caucus supports McMillin’s decision to focus on his family. Bosma said a new majority leader will be selected in the coming days.

McMillin was first elected to the Legislature in 2010 and quickly climbed the ranks to be named to the No. 2 position in the House last November.

During this year’s legislative session, he was a prominent supporter of the state’s controversial religious objections law and played a key role in efforts to shift authority away from Democratic state schools superintendent Glenda Ritz.

McMillin represented a largely rural southeastern Indiana district.

“After five years of dedicated service I have decided the time is right for me to pass the torch and spend more time with my family,” McMillin said in his resignation statement. “I hope that the work I have done in Indianapolis and in Southeastern Indiana has made the state and the communities I represent a better place.”

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