House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black, R-Tennessee, said she will be stepping down from her role as committee leader to focus on her candidacy in the race for the next governor of Tennessee.
Black made the announcement Wednesday, saying she will leave her role once a successor is chosen in the new year. Black intends on remaining a member of Congress while she runs for governor.
“It has been an honor to serve as Chairman of the House Budget Committee, working alongside members this year to recommend responsible and balanced policies for building a better America," Black said in a news release.
Black announced her bid to succeed Gov. Bill Haslam in early August 2017. Haslam is term-limited and can't run for re-election in 2018.
A poll conducted by Vanderbilt University and released earlier in December showed Black had surged ahead of other candidates for governor in terms of name recognition.
The poll found 59 percent of respondents recognized Black's name, a 10 percent jump from a survey released in May.
With 41 percent, former Nashville mayor Karl Dean, a Democrat, came in second in terms of name recognition. That's just a three percent increase from Vanderbilt's May poll.
The poll was conducted by the Vanderbilt University Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions between Nov. 16 and Dec. 5. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. A total of 1,013 registered Tennessee voters were surveyed.