WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Michelle Bachmann stood out as an audacious conservative when she was first elected to Congress in 2006. Democrats were ascendant and Bachmann was a stridently Republican new arrival with a homespun Minnesota twang.

Four terms later she is leaving just as Republicans take control of Congress for the first time since she arrived in Washington. Her turbulent career has been dotted with fights with the left and her own party, and a fast-rising and fast-fading presidential campaign. Bachmann says she is ready to leave, her work in Congress complete.

Bachmann says in an interview that she is proud she didn't get sucked into the Washington system. She says she maintained her credentials as a constitutional conservative because that is what she is.