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Michigan Republican House member who voted to impeach Trump announces retirement

Four of the 10 House Republicans who supported Donald Trump’s impeachment are not running for reelection.

By Emily Singer - April 05, 2022
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Fred Upton

Longtime Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton on Tuesday announced he won’t seek a 15th term in Congress, choosing to retire rather than run against another Republican member of Congress endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

Upton, who was first elected to Congress in 1986, was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He is now the fourth of those pro-impeachment Republicans to announce they are retiring rather than running for reelection, joining Reps. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, John Katko of New York, and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

Due to redistricting that changed the lines of House seats in Michigan, Upton was drawn into a new 4th Congressional District that would have had him running against incumbent GOP Rep. Bill Huizenga, who has received Trump’s endorsement.

Trump endorsed Huizenga in March, saying that Huizenga “always puts AMERICA FIRST” and that he had Trump’s “Complete and Total Endorsement for the newly drawn 4th Congressional District!”

Upton, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1986, announced his retirement in a speech on the House floor.

“As a former Boy Scout, I believe in leaving the campground better than one found it,” Upton said. “I’ve worked with seven administrations, seven House speakers — none of them would call me a rubber stamp. If it’s good policy for Michigan, it’s good enough for all of us.”

Trump, for his part, put a target on the backs of the GOP House members who voted to impeach him, endorsing primary challengers against them.

Some of those members who have chosen to retire have blamed not only Trump but also their own party for capitulating to his whims.

For example, Gonzalez called Trump “a cancer for the country,” and said he chose to retire because of “many of the toxic dynamics inside our own party.”

But not all of the Republicans who voted to impeach Trump have chosen to retire.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) is running for reelection, despite the fact that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is backing her primary challenger.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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