In a move I think it’s safe to say nobody saw coming, Republican Congressman Dan Benishek has dropped out of the 2016 race for Michigan’s 1st Congressional District. This comes after he hypocritically said he would NOT drop out so that he could focus on veterans’ issues, something he has paid scant attention to since he became a member of Congress. His now-rescinded decision to run for a fourth term broke a promise he made during previous campaigns not to stay in Congress for more than three terms.
This move puts former Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson in the position of being
the only declared candidate one of the two declared candidates for the 1st District race along with Democrat Jerry Cannon who ran against Benishek in 2014. Johnson has been campaigning hard across the Upper Peninsula and the northern part of the Lower Peninsula since declaring his candidacy in June. Although MI-01 is considered a “Leans Republican” district, the right Democrat can win it and Benishek just made that a whole lot easier.
Here is retirement Benishek’s statement:
Serving the 1st district in Congress has been a privilege and an opportunity that I will be forever grateful for. I am proud to be able to represent the people of Northern Michigan.
Today I’m announcing that I won’t seek re-election next year, which will allow me to focus my time and attention on helping our veterans and working to make things better for the families and workers throughout Northern Michigan, and devote more time to my family. I want to thank all of the people throughout the 1st District that had faith in me and allowed me to represent them. I also want to especially thank the voters, my supporters and staff, and everyone that has worked and volunteered on my campaigns. Judy and I appreciate all your support and all the hard work that you have given us over the years.
I know we have a lot of talented individuals that care about the people up here and our nation that will step forward to look at serving in Congress. There is a lot of work still to be done and I’m looking forward to these last sixteen months to continue representing the families and veterans of Northern Michigan.