U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison defended her record as a "no-frills conservative" in an interview published Sunday as the Republican prepares to leave politics following a career that saw her become one of the nation's most prominent female lawmakers. Hutchison, 69, will return to Dallas next month after nearly two decades in the Senate. The decision came after her failed bid in 2010 to oust Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who had entered that primary battle appearing vulnerable against the popular Hutchison, only to handily win behind tea party support and anti-Washington fervor. As a state lawmaker, Hutchison was the first Republican woman elected twice to the Texas House and was the first woman to represent Texas in the Senate.