PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The top Republican in the Rhode Island House of Representatives is giving up his leadership post next year.

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry says he wants to represent his district without the added responsibility of leadership.

The North Smithfield Republican has led the small GOP caucus in the Democratic-controlled legislature for the past six years. He's an attorney who is running unopposed for re-election in November. He was first elected in 2008.

Newberry is endorsing Rep. Michael Chippendale, a Foster Republican, to succeed him as minority leader. He describes Chippendale as diplomatic and says that's an important trait for the leadership role.

West Warwick Republican Rep. Patricia Morgan, the deputy minority leader, has also expressed interest in leading the House GOP caucus.

WPRI-TV first reported on Newberry's decision.

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