Michigan Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving congressman in U.S. history, will announce his retirement on Monday.
Dingell is expected to formally announce his decision to not seek re-election during a luncheon in Southgate.
The 87-year-old democrat and Dean of the House of Representatives was first elected in 1955, filling the House seat vacated by his late father.
Dingell set the record for the longest-serving member last year when he hit 58 years of service.
Many are cheering. I'm not. $20 says the replacement will be a lot worse. Dingell was an old school FDR type of labor democrat. I didn't agree with him on much, but at least he was generally (not always) pro-2nd Amendment and supportive of the auto industry. The replacement could very well be coming from the People's Republic of Ann Arbor.
This is a safe district for democrats. There are several different parts of the district.
Dearborn/Downriver - They aren't exactly the same, but the same type of democrat does well. UAW and steelworker. Moderate on social issues. Populist. That's Dingell's base. About 396,000 people, mostly white ethnic.
Airport area (Partially) - A mix of downriver, government workers (Metro Airport), and a fairly large black population. That's also Dingell's base. Romulus, Wayne, Westland, and Inkster are in Conyers district. Dingell has Van Buren Twp, Belleville, Sumpter, and Huron Township. About 58,000 in the district.
Ypsilanti area - Actually more democrat than Ann Arbor. A mix of inner city, college town (EMU), and UAW. Dingell made some strong inroads here when running against Lynn Rivers, especially with the minorities. Ypsilanti (City and Township), Pittsfield Twp east of US-23. SE part of Superior Township (Willow Run). About 98,000 in the district.
Ann Arbor - City College of New York, West. A bit of east coast implanted on the Midwest, without the character. Go MSU. They tolerated Dingell, but he wasn't their favorite due to guns and his support of the automobile industry. Mostly white with some Asians and a declining black population. Very strong green, gay rights, and feminist streak. About 150,000.
In the Lynn Rivers vs John Dingell 2002 grudge match, the results were as follows.
Wayne County - Dingell 31364, Rivers 11203
Monroe County - Dingell 14698, Rivers 3613
Washtenaw County - Dingell 11728, Rivers 26016
Ann Arbor - Rivers won 80-20
Milan (Walberg's District now) - Rivers won 55-45
Ypsi - Rivers won 63-37 (Dingell won black precincts)
Ann Arbor Twp - Rivers won 68-31
Augusta Twp (Walberg's district now) - Dingell won 55-45
Pittsfield Twp - Rivers won 63-37
Scio Twp - 11 votes for Rivers, 0 for Dingell (most was in Walberg's District then)
Superior Twp - Dingell won 51-49 (Willow Run)
York Twp (Walberg's District now) - Dingell won 57-42
Ypsilanti Twp - Rivers won 50-49
I think one of the reasons Dingell is retiring is due to downriver being back in his district. He's a Dearborn/Downriver guy and wants his replacement to be from there. I think Debbie Dingell may run. Chris Dingell (John's son), a Wayne County Judge was rumored long ago to be the successor intended for this seat. He's in the Trenton area in the district. He could run, but would have to give up a nice spot to do it. I expect either Debbie or Chris Dingell to run, but not both.
The democrat bench is strong.
Lynn Rivers - Ex Congresscritter. Ann Arbor.
Alma Wheeler Smith - Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor. Ties to both.
Rebekah Warren, Liz Brater, Chris Kolb, - Ann Arbor current/former reps.
John Hiefje - Ann Arbor mayor.
David Rutledge - Ypsi state rep
George Darany, Paul or Ed Clemente, The Kandrevases, Hoon-Yung Hopgood, Ray Basham, - State Reps/Senate from Wayne County.
The only Republican bench in this district is Pat Somerville, and I doubt he's giving up his far downriver state rep seat for this. Grosse Ile and Huron Township isn't going to carry a congressional district.
Some national folks have mentioned Pam Byrnes and Glenn Anderson. Pam Byrnes is from the Chelsea area. That's about as far from MI-12 than I am even though I'm in a different county. She's not going to carpetbag. Glenn Anderson is from Westland. That's not in the district, and his old territory in the state senate is Redford, Garden City, Westland, and Livonia. NO Chance. Scratch both of those names. They aren't going to be it.
I expect at least one Wayne County and one Washtenaw County candidate to run regardless of the wishes of the establishment in the other community. My guesses (and that's all they are)
Alma Wheeler Smith, Liz Brater, and Rebekah Warren in that order.
Debbie Dingell, Chris Dingell, Ray Basham (Former State Senator) in that order.
Personally, I hope both sides beat the tar out of each other and alienate the other side into staying home in November.