Thursday, December 7, 2017

Sander Levin to retire, likely leaving Fred Upton as dean of Michigan's Congressional delegation

Conyers isn't the only member of Michigan's Congressional delegation to announce his retirement.  Stay tuned for news about another U.S. Representative leaving under more ordinary circumstances.
That's how I finished Conyers resigns, setting up scramble for his seat.  It's time to me to pass along this video from Wochit News: U.S. Representative Levin To Step Down.

On Saturday, U.S. Representative Sander Levin of Michigan said he would not run for reelection next year. He is stepping down after more than three decades in Congress. The 86-year-old Democrat is a member of the House of Representatives’ powerful Ways and Means committee. The committee deals with tax and economic policies as well as spending on programs such as Social Security and unemployment. In a statement acknowledging his decision to step down, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi praised Levin. Pelosi said, “Since his days as a student activist, Congressman Levin has been a fearless and dedicated voice for justice and progress."
Levin does not plan to be idle in retirement.  The Detroit Free Press reported that he plans to "join the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, where he will continue to work on issues that have engrossed him in Congress, such as health care and trade issues."

The Free Press also noted the effect Levin's retirement will have on Michigan's Congressional delegation.
His departure from Congress at the end of 2018 is just the latest departure of veteran Michigan representatives, many of whom held powerful positions as the chairs of key committees, including U.S. Reps. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, Dave Camp, R-Midland, Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, Dale Kildee, D-Flint and Mike Rogers, R-Brighton. When they left Congress over the last six years, they had a combined length of service of 141 years and significant clout in the halls of the nation's Capitol.

In the last three election cycles, eight of Michigan’s 14 members of Congress have retired. If U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, resigns from office or decides not to run for reelection in 2018 because of a sexual harassment scandal, only U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, would remain from Michigan's stable of veterans with more than 10 years of experience in Congress.
It looks like Upton will remain in the U.S. House of Representatives, as he has decided not to run for U.S. Senate, a possibility I mentioned in Whew! Kid Rock is not running for U.S. Senate.  WOOD-TV reported on that announcement in Upton seeks re-election in House, no Senate run.

After speculation of a possible run for U.S. Senate, Rep. Fred Upton announced he will not be seeking the nomination.
First Kid Rock, now Fred Upton.  If I were Debbie Stabenow, I'd be breathing a lot easier.

Enough of the Senate contest.  The Free Press also speculated on who might replace Levin.
But now, it's time to turn the reins over to the next generation. Names that have popped up as possible successors to Levin include his son Andy Levin, a Bloomfield Township Democrat and president of Levin Energy, which deals with clean energy initiatives, and state Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren.
This is a contest I actually will have to vote in, as Levin is my Representative.  I have a long time before I have to decide, as the primary election isn't until August, but I'm not enthused about either possible candidate mentioned above.  Fortunately, Daily Kos lists two more.
Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner also acknowledged he was considering, though he said he didn't have a timeline for when he'd decide. Businessman Kevin Howley, who lost a 2012 race for Oakland County executive 57-43, said he was looking at who else runs before deciding.
I like those two more than the previous two, as I know both of them.  Between the two, I'd vote for Meisner.  He has the nickname of "The Gentleman Assassin" -- he can kill while smiling and being polite.  I like that.  Just the same,  I'm hoping that Jim Townsend, who used to be my State Representative, declares his candidacy.  He's someone I could support enthusiastically.

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