BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Feb. 17 special election has been set to fill a southeast Louisiana-based House seat.

Rep. Chris Broadwater, a Hammond Republican, has announced he is stepping down, saying that the job is taking too much time away from his family. He intends to leave the House no later than March 1.

House Speaker Taylor Barras on Monday set the February date to choose Broadwater's replacement for the seat representing Tangipahoa Parish. A runoff, if needed, will be March 24.

Broadwater, a lawyer, was elected in 2011. The father of four daughters says he has had trouble finding a balance between his legislative work and his home life, and decided to resign to "refocus my attention on the wonderful family with which I have been blessed."