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Debbie Dingell going after her husband's job

Debbie Dingell, wife of U.S. Congressman John Dingell, has made it official: She will run for her husband's 12th District seat. 

John Dingell is retiring after 58 years in Congress.

Debbie Dingell, 59, is a member of the Democratic National Committee, and is chair of the Wayne State University Board of Governors.

She also worked for General Motors for 30 years.

Dingell made three appearances Friday, including one at Downtown Home and Garden in Ann Arbor.

She told supporters she remains in awe of her husband's accomplishments – but she'll  have priorities of her own, including issues important to women, children, and students. 

"I'm not John Dingell – I'm Debbie Dingell," she said.

Dingell also hopes to help reduce the bitter partisan gridlock in Congress.

"This is something I've tackled my whole life," she said to the crowd.

"You know, most people don't realize I did my master's thesis on civility in Congress. I organized the bipartisan retreats. I have a long career of bringing disparate people of different backgrounds and opinions together to try to find common ground," Dingell said.

"I think that our government, our democracy, is the best form of government in the world. I love the institution of the House, and you can't give up. I don't think anyone's an enemy. I think you've got to sit down and listen."

Dingell says she shares many of her husband's viewpoints on the importance of protecting middle class jobs and the environment – but she does not share his views on gun ownership.

Dingell may have competition from her own party for the nomination.

Democratic State Sen. Rebekah Warren said today she is forming an exploratory committee to look at a bid at the 12th District seat.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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