GOP Rep. Upton, who voted to impeach Trump, won’t run again

Longtime Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton, who voted to impeach President Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, announced Tuesday he will not run for a 19th term in Congress.

Upton, 68, is the fourth of 10 Republicans who backed impeachment to not seek reelection, joining Reps. John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio.

“Even the best stories has a last chapter. This is it for me,” Upton said during a speech on the House floor. “I’ve done the zillions of airline miles back and forth. I’ve signed Fred to over a million letters, cast more votes than anyone in this chamber while here and by most accounts have succeeded in making a difference, accomplishing what I’ve set out to do with more unfinished work still yet to come.”

The recent once-a-decade redistricting process put the moderate Upton, of St. Joseph, and sixth-term Republican Rep. Bill Huizenga of Holland Township in the same GOP-leaning seat in the state’s southwestern corner. In February, Upton’s campaign aired an ad that signaled he was more likely to run, but he stopped short of announcing a bid.

Trump has worked to exact revenge on those who crossed him — recruiting, endorsing and campaigning for challengers running against them. That includes Upton, whom Trump has slammed as a “RINO,” a Republican in name only. “He doesn’t deserve to keep his seat,” Trump said in September.

Trump last month endorsed Huizenga after earlier supporting another Republican primary challenger before the new district was drawn. On Tuesday, Trump issued a statement reacting to Upton’s decision, saying: “UPTON QUITS! 4 down and 6 to go.”

Upton, who was first elected in 1986 and chaired the House Energy and Commerce Committee from 2011 through 2016, became emotional as he ended his remarks in which he thanked his “salt-of-the-earth” constituents. He noted his parents were watching on C-SPAN.

“Someone asked my wife Amey what would be the next chapter. She said, ’And they lived happily ever after.′ Indeed, we will.”

Legislative highlights, Upton said, include a law to accelerate medical product development and what he said was his “driving mission” — a focus on jobs and the economy. He mentioned work to rev up American energy production, deal with climate change, reduce corporate taxes, rescue the domestic auto industry and protect the Great Lakes.

He also said he has been hitting the road with Michigan Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell “in a push for civility. Hopefully, civility and bipartisanship versus discord can rule not rue the day.”

Dingell spoke after Upton, who stayed to watch. She also was emotional.

“It is his civility that I and Congress will miss the most,” she said. “Fred really believed that he was an American first, that reaching across the aisle was important, that working together is how we get things done for the American people.”

Upton is the 16th House Republican to say he or she is not running for reelection, compared with 30 Democrats. The total had been 31 Democrats, but Filemon Vela, who said he was not seeking reelection, ended up resigning for another job last month.  (AP)

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6 comments

  1. Something smells here. Rep. Cara has now lost TFG’s endorsement (hope he paid too much for it ’cause Trump doesn’t EVER give refunds) to Bill Huizenga due to Bill’s being a good soldier who attempted to throw out our votes in 2020 by signing the Texas amicus brief. I am afraid that the far right base is now resorting to threats against people who did the right thing to keep people like Fred (who voted to impeach) from running. If you’re a Republican think twice before you vote for Billy. He has been my rep for the past 4 years and in that time has NEVER talked face to face with his constituents nor does he ever converse on the phone. His only public utterings are on a small AM station in Holland where he fields pre-screened questions. He works for the Republican party only, so don’t expect him to listen to you.

  2. God help this country if the worst of the Michigan Republican party spew forward to fill the space by Fred Upton’s retirement. Our party has lost its way, turning it into a shrewish group spurring under-handed disgustinng behavior, provable lies, and hate under the guise of patriotism and religion. Mr. Trump should have been impeached and removed from office. He should and all the Jan. 6th insurrectionists should face condemnation in the courts and society like all thugs. I never liked Mr. Upton, since he first appeared in Three Rivers as a candidate, but at least he did not proudly display meglomania and sociopathy. God have mercy on this state as the right wing Republicans working against the very Christian they claim as theirs.

  3. Well put Mr. Madvoc.

  4. Good riddance to RINO Upton

  5. Abner Johnson, III

    Josip is right. Count the number of those unpatriotic Rebel-American flags flying in this county. Teens can be excused for their shock old people, but most are adults.They call themselves patriots. Nope, ignorant fascists. Makes me ashamed I moved to this county.

  6. Publius – Your comment is disgusting. Fred Upton (agree with him or not) has been an honest man trying to do the best he could. He did what was necessary in voting to impeach. Now he is being forced out by a Trump lackey in Bill Huizenga who said our votes should be thrown out (INCLUDING YOURS). If sedition is your thing then come out and say it. Just quit complaining and spreading misinformation.

    Love ya

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