State Rep. Leighton Schubert, who previously said he wouldn't seek re-election this year, has decided to resign early to take a job at a local junior college. 

The Caldwell Republican will step down Feb. 4 and go to work for Blinn College in Brenham, according to Richard Bray, a spokesman for Blinn. Bray said Schubert, who was first elected to the House in 2015, will work in the college's legal affairs office, handling both legal and governmental matters. 

Schubert confirmed the news in a release. 

“Serving the people of District 13 over the past two terms has been a great honor,” he said. “As a fifth-generation resident of this district on both sides of my family, one of my main goals as state representative was to help make our area an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

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Schubert described his new job at Blinn as an opportunity to "continue to serve our area." In his new role, Schubert will serve as a liaison between the college and the Legislature, continuing to be "a tremendous partner for us," Bray said. Schubert will start on Feb. 5, one day after he resigns. 

"As a state, we must remain focused on preparing future generations of Texans to meet the job demands of tomorrow’s economy," Schubert said. "Blinn College is on the forefront of this vital work not only in our area, but across the state of Texas." 

Schubert surprised many when he announced late last year he would not run for another term, citing the need to focus on his family. Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, had already endorsed him for re-election.

Five Republicans and one Democrat had signed up to run to replace him in the 2018 election. Now, a special election will be called for sometime this spring to fill out the remainder of Schubert's term. But that election will be entirely separate from the regularly planned March 6 primary.