Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan will be walking away from Congress after six terms in office.
Kildee had a cancerous tumor removed earlier this year, according to Politico.
“One of the things about going through a tough health diagnosis and then coming out OK … it does cause you to sort of sit back and say, OK, what are my priorities?” Kildee said.
Early this year, Kildee was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, but by April was declared cancer-free.
NEWS: Rep. Dan Kildee tells me he will not seek reelection to his battleground Michigan House seat.
After battling cancer this year, Kildee said it was time to ask himself, “OK, what are my priorities?” https://t.co/vSoCja1OPD
— Sarah Ferris (@sarahnferris) November 16, 2023
“When I weigh how things are working here, and maybe a different way I can make a difference back home and be close to family, it became a pretty easy decision,” he said.
Kildee has risen through the party to become the co-chair of the Democratic caucus’ steering and policy committee and a member of the Ways and Means Committee.
Kildee’s 8th Congressional District was redrawn in 2022, although he still won re-election.
Upon news that he was retiring, the Cook Political Report shifted his sat from leaning Democratic to a toss-up.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 16, 2023
John Sellek, who has worked on Michigan Republican campaigns, called this “surprise” announcement an “earthquake in Michigan politics,” according to Bridge Michigan.
“Republicans are looking forward to flipping this seat red,” he said.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC that hopes to keep a Republican majority in the House, also indicated the change means opportunity.
“With Daniel Kildee’s departure, this already attainable seat becomes an even better pickup opportunity for House Republicans on the road to expanding the majority,” said Courtney Parella, the communications director for the fund.
The Detroit Free Press noted that Kildee’s once-solidly Democratic district “has in recent decades been drifting more Republican.”
In 2020. district voters supported President Joe Biden over former President Donald Trump 51 percent to 49 percent.