In a stunning announcement made from the House floor, Rep. Paul Mitchell said he will not be seeking reelection in 2020. Mitchell is a Republican representing Michigan’s 10th District, and will be retiring after just two terms.
Many expected Mitchell to have a longer run in Washington considering he spent $3.1 million of his own money to win the seat, and two years prior to that spent $3.6 million in an unsuccessful bid to win Michigan’s 4th Congressional District Republican Primary, where he received 36.3% of the vote to John Moolenaar’s 52.4%.
Mitchell said he made the decision based on dissatisfaction in the way Congress operates, as well as wanting to spend more time with his family.
“A career in Washington was never my objective. My objective has always been to address significant challenges this nation faces: trade, health care, immigration, and infrastructure to name just a few.
“However, it appears to me that rhetoric overwhelms policy, and politics consumes much of the oxygen in this city. The time has come to make a difference for my family – to focus my time and energy upon them, their needs, their goals, As George Washington is quoted: ‘I would rather be on my farm than emperor of the world.’”
Candice Miller, Macomb County Public Works Commissioner, and former congresswoman who held the seat prior to Mitchell was critical of the way he made the announcement.
In a statement, she said “comments on his departure from Congress leave something to be desired.”
“I would have appreciated seeing some recognition of the great people of the 10th District – good, decent, hardworking people who sent him to Washington DC on their behalf.”
“Reading his rant in Politico is not the best way to find out your Member of Congress is not seeking re-election.”
Mitchell was a supporter of Trump during the 2016 election, but has been critical of the President at times while in office.
The 10th District is considered to be a safe seat for Republicans, and very pro-Trump, with President Trump winning by 32 points in 2016.
It will be interesting to see who will run to replace Mitchell. Candice Miller who represented the district for 14 years prior to Mitchell could run again. Former state Sen. Phil Pavlov is another potential candidate. He ran against Mitchell for the seat in 2016, and performed well coming in second place.
Pete Lund, a former state representative and current state director for Michigan Americans for Prosperity and Brig. Gen. John D. Slocum a retired commander of the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base are rumored as potential candidates.
And there are a number of state legislators who could jump in, including Rep. Shane Hernandez, Senator Pete Lucido, Senator Mike MacDonald, Senator Dan Lauwers, and Senator Kevin Daley.