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Longtime Michigan Congressman Sander Levin to retire

U.S. Rep. Sander Levin

Detroit-area Rep. Sander Levin says he won't run for an 19th term in Congress next year and will teach at the University of Michigan.

The 86-year-old Democrat confirmed today he will retire after 36 years in Washington. Levin has served on the House Ways and Means Committee for almost three decades. The powerful panel sets tax and trade laws.

Levin, known as Sandy, says he's grateful to have served residents all over the Detroit area, especially with districts being redrawn every decade. He says he'll continue "sharing the values" that he learned from his family.

Levin is the brother of Carl Levin, who was a Michigan U.S. senator until 2015.


He had planned to make the retirement announcement Sunday, including at his annual holiday party in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak, according to three Democrats who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss private talks.

Michigan’s 9th Congressional District is a Democratic-leaning seat in Oakland and Macomb counties. Levin’s son, Andy — who worked in former Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s administration and recently considered running for governor — is seen as a likely candidate to run. Another potential Democratic candidate is state Sen. Steve Bieda.

Before joining Congress, Sander Levin was assistant administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development. He was twice the Democratic nominee for governor in the 1970s and earlier was a state senator.

UPDATE: This story was updated to include confirmation by Sander Levin of his intent to retire. An earlier version cited three unnamed sources.

Vincent Duffy has been news director at Michigan Public since May 2007.
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