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Republican Rep. Paul Mitchell of Michigan will not seek re-election to Congress in 2020

A photo of Paul Mitchell from his campaign website.

Second-term Republican Rep. Paul Mitchell of Michigan will not seek re-election to Congress in 2020.

Mitchell announced his retirement in a floor speech. He said he wants to spend more time with his family.

Update: Monday, July 29, 2019, 4:40 p.m. 

Click above to hear Stateside's interview with Representative Paul Mitchell on his decision to not seek a third term in 2020. Stateside's conversation with Gongwer News Service editor Zach Gorchow, who offers analysis on Mitchell's decision and the political climate in his district, begins at 6:38. 

Original post: Wednesday, July 24, 2019, 11:07 a.m. 

"It is an honor to stand on this floor, debate issues, and represent the people of Michigan’s 10th Congressional District," Mitchell said.  "I am proud to be among the 12,500 or so Americans that have had the privilege of serving in Congress.

"But I have also begun asking myself about making a difference for my family," Mitchell said with emotion and pauses.  "My children of all ages - but the youngest just nine years old - have accepted their dad traveling this country extensively, working a demanding schedule, and frequently interrupting “family time” with calls, emails and text messages.  My spouse Sherry has been so supportive and more patient than probably warranted."

The 62-year-old was first elected in 2016 to represent the 10th Congressional District, which includes Michigan's rural Thumb region and portions of suburban Detroit's Macomb County. The district's voters heavily backed Donald Trump in 2016, and Republicans should have no problem holding the seat in 2020.

Mitchell last week criticized Trump for saying four Democratic congresswoman of color should "go back" to the countries they came from.

"My objective has always been simply to work to address significant challenges this nation faces: health care, immigration, and infrastructure for example," he said. "owever, it appears to me that rhetoric overwhelms policy, and politics consumes much of the oxygen in this city."

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