Washington (CNN) – Michigan Republican Rep. Vern Ehlers said Wednesday he will not run for re-election in November.
Ehlers, 76, who made the announcement from his Grand Rapids district, said he decided to retire after finishing his eighth term so he can spend time with his family.
"While I regret leaving when so much more needs to be done, I know it is time for me to step down. I am in good health, but I recognize that I should complete this chapter of my life. I look forward to spending more time with my wife and my family in Grand Rapids," Ehlers said in a written statement.
Ehlers is the 16th House Republican to announce plans to leave the House either to run for another office or outright retire. So far, 13 House Democrats have decided to retire or run for another office, but Democratic aides expect this number to rise.
The senior Michigan Republican's district was carried very narrowly by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, in the 2008 presidential race. Political strategists from both parties were quick to say Wednesday they would compete for the seat.
"Voters in the Grand Rapids area have long supported Republican candidates who stand for limited government and pro-growth economic policies, and we are confident that they will continue to do so in November," National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions of Texas, said in a written statement.
Ryan Rudominer, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told CNN, "As this race takes shape we are looking to see a strong Democratic candidate emerge in this district."
Steph February 10th, 2010 12:41 pm ET
Grand Rapids...the home of Amway...that Republican stronghold. I bet he'll pick his successor. Hey, how's the economy in Grand Rapids? I bet with all that limited government and the conservative policies it's just paradise there....NOT
It couldn't be the fact they have a Democratic Governor, could it? How about a democratic legislature?
Steph says "I bet with all that limited government and the conservative policies it's just paradise there....NOT!"
Doesn't Michigan have a Democrat for Governor? With all the union members in car country I would suspect THAT is why Michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the country. Then there is Obama and his Democratic idiots in the House and Senate that have only made it worse. Geez... GET A CLUE!
Another bites the dust. Tired old party!!
Take John McCain with you, he's serves no purpose other than to obstruct and complain. These old guys haven't been to school in 100 years and do nothing but move the country backwards, even most of our jobs require new training if not more education. It's past time for term limits.
I think the unemployment rate for Michigan was pretty lousy before Obama was elected. As I recall, McCain pulled out of Michigan early, as they had had it with the republican economy, and MI went for Obama handily.
This is a safe Republican district/seat. There is no way that the citizens of Grand Rapids area will put a Democrat in this seat-–not after what Obama and the Democrats have done to Michigan. – Are you retarded?
They're dropping like flies, abandoning ship. They must be afraid.
When the going gets tough............bail out & take the golden parachute of federal retirement.
Both parties should be ashamed of all the bailers.
Don't let the door hit ya on the way out.
The mindless braying of sheep are out again. There are only two or three good comments. The best was from conservative voice who believes there should be term limitations.
Towards the sheep, all you want is a free ride and someone handing you things without you working for it.
Maybe now would be a good time to talk about a term limits amendment. On the one hand you really want people that know what the heck their doing (i.e Progressives). On the other hand, there are some people that you'd like to see go as soon as possible (i.e. Conservatives).
I'll never understand why we limit Presidential terms to two 4-year terms but Congress and the Senate can dominate a seat for ages (ala Ted Stevens and Ted Kennedy). They hold just as much, if not more, power in this country.
Not after all the republican bailouts for the auto industry – the seat is safe.
Republicans stand for Limited Government? Of course they do. Limited when it comes to corporate corruption and white collar crime... but they want more govt when it comes to us'n po' folk down here.
I say "MORE GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION AT THE TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN!"
Democrats really need to update the talking points they send to the mindless masses of malcontented morons. Bush has been out of office for well over a year. In that scant year's time, Obama has tripled the deficit that Bush generated in 8 years. Direct your angst at who is bankrupting this country at the right party and the right president.
Hey left wing morons...he's a congressman...so he doesn't effect state policy. Your lack of intelligence, is why we are stuck with this awful fraud of a president...O-fraud!
nice try cnn. i like the spin you take. it presumes republicans are leaving in droves.
"Steph.....Hey, how's the economy in Grand Rapids? I bet with all that limited government and the conservative policies it's just paradise there....NOT!"
You do realize Ehlers is in the US House and not the State, right? He doesn't have anything to do with state politics.
Michigan is a blue state and their economic troubles, like IL, are the result of liberal policy making. Just like what we're seeing in DC from Obama.
Sue said "This is a safe Republican district/seat. There is no way that the citizens of Grand Rapids area will put a Democrat in this seat-–not after what Obama and the Democrats have done to Michigan."
Sue – all of that happened while this REPUBLICAN was in office in Grand Rapids.
There should be a mandatory retirement age for politicians, judges, and other public servants. Also term limits.
Congrats to him on his retirement. Now if McCain would only retire.
Hey Sue – what exactly did Obama and the Dems do to Michigan?
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
Oh, wait. We only do that when Dems retire.
To Sue: "not after what Obama and the Democrats have done to Michigan"
Is it your belief, Sue, that Michigan was in good economic shape prior to the day President Obama took office? Because if that is your belief, I'm sorry but you are SADLY misinformed of the facts. Michigan has been in a steady downward spiral for several years. Another fact that you don't seem to be aware of is that Michigan is very much a Republican state, so if any one party is to blame for their economic woes (and I for one, don't believe only ONE party is to blame for anything!) it certainly wouldn't be Dems.
You really might want to try to gain some insight before you just spew hatred of the President and Democrats. That really isn't the way forward . . . .
Point of fact: as anyone who has actually visited Grand Rapids knows, the place is a disaster area and it didn't get that way under the current administration. It's been going downhill for decades. The failed economic policies of the previous Republican administration didn't help, and apparently this Republican Rep. didn't either. Good riddance.
Boy, What a stupid comment Steph. What are ten years old or something?
Buh Bye RINO