Debbie Dingell wants to succeed husband in Congress, source tells CNN
February 25th, 2014
05:44 PM ET
10 months ago

Debbie Dingell wants to succeed husband in Congress, source tells CNN

Washington (CNN) - Debbie Dingell plans to run this year for the seat being vacated by her husband, Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, a Democratic strategist with knowledge of the lawmaker’s thinking confirmed to CNN Tuesday.

John Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress in history, announced Monday that he'll retire at the end of the year.

He has served in the House for 58 years. He was 29 when he was first elected in a special election to serve the remainder of his late father’s term. John Dingell, Sr. had held the seat since its creation in 1932.

There was speculation that Debbie Dingell, the congressman's wife of 38 years and a longtime Democratic National Committee member, would run for her husband's seat.

The Democratic strategist told CNN that Mrs. Dingell's entry into the race would basically clear the field of other major Democrats.

Democrats dominate Michigan's 12th Congressional District, which includes several working class southern suburbs of Detroit known as the "Downriver" area. The district stretches west to include Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan.

Dingell grabbed 68% of the vote in his 2012 re-election. And Barack Obama won two-thirds of the vote in the district in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.

Dingell has been approached by multiple people in Michigan and Washington about a potential bid.

In addition to her 30-year career at General Motors as a senior executive, Dingell has served on multiple boards of charities and organizations and has chaired several political campaigns, including former Vice President Al Gore's presidential campaign in Michigan.


Filed under: House Democrats • John Dingell • Michigan
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Larry Twitchell

    Should she succeed in being elected, this would puta Congressional seat under the control of a single family for close to 80 years! Is this the American Way? Certainly there are others who are qualified for this office and should have the opportunity to participate.

    February 25, 2014 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  2. wjm980

    My god, why don't we just change the law so that once you win an election, you are thereby appointed to the position for life. And then when you can no longer fill the role, you are free to pass it on to your family member. Our democracy is turning into a monarchy.

    February 25, 2014 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. Tim

    And this is why we need term limits in the House and Senate.

    February 25, 2014 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. Grego

    I live in Michigan and know this woman is really bad news just like her old man.

    February 25, 2014 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. Kevin O'Reilly

    Like voters in every other district in the country, the folks in Michigan's 12th district will no doubt tell you "throw the bums out". But they will return yet another Dingell to office and revert back to the robotic ways of voters today. Then they'll spend the next two years crying about Congress and it goes on and on and on......
    And no, term limits won't help either. It just comes down to the American electorate getting too lazy to educate themselves.

    Was it Pogo who said: "we have met the enemy and he is us" ?

    February 25, 2014 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  6. Neutral Observer

    No don't do it!! The spouses are always way worse than the original

    February 25, 2014 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  7. Robert

    Oh vomit. Enough of this kind of crap. Just a liberal rubber stamp. No Clinton's, Bush's, Dingle's.

    February 25, 2014 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. helicohunter

    Seems like a fair trade. She certainly has experience- and a great mentor.

    February 25, 2014 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. Jay

    Seriously?! As if the current state of affairs for Detroit isn't bad enough? Get somebody in there who isn't use to making a living off the American taxpayers. We need term limits and now it looks like we need to include families as well...i.e Kennedys, Clintons, Bushs, etc.....

    February 25, 2014 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  10. Johnjon

    is there a monarchy in Michigan?

    February 25, 2014 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  11. Mr. Balls

    Entirely predictable.

    February 25, 2014 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  12. AS

    Lifetime appointments for the Dingells. Must be nice. Would have been funny if tey'd been Berry farmers like Carter was a Peanut farmer.

    February 25, 2014 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  13. Tim Halbert

    Why not let her inherit the position. The United States is one big Kakistocracy and only gets worse with each passing day. So let power be handed down from father to son (Al Gore / George W. Bush)), from husband to wife (Hillary Clinton), and from anyone else that will take it. This country is no longer a country where anyone can become a leader, it has become a small minded European monarchy with a political elite that covets and protects power at all cost.

    February 25, 2014 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. Roy

    59 years in the senate and 87 years old boy does this country badly need term limits!!!!!!!!!

    February 25, 2014 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  15. 1rdd

    She's seen her senile husband milk the job for years and thought to herself, 'Hey, I can continue on with the fraud and make some money myself without having to get a real job." She's only trying to capitalize on her husbands last name and keep the gravy train rolling.

    February 25, 2014 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  16. Dick_Hammer_Clinton

    Political families are a major source of rot within the US government.

    February 25, 2014 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. Kevin H

    I hate to admit it for once – but she sounds eminently qualified. I wonder what the far right will say about a Caucasian, senior executive from General Motors with 30 years of experience, experience in charitable works and the wife of a soon to be former member of Congress. Naaaa – give 'em time they'll say something evil. I wish her the best of luck. John Dingell is controversial, no doubt about it, I believe, if elected she'll do a great job. Honestly I wish a younger person – man or woman would run – because I think that the seat needs the vigor of a younger individual, however, I can see the value of her maturity and experience.

    February 25, 2014 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  18. Secession Solution

    The gall of the elite political class knows no bounds.

    February 25, 2014 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  19. Bruno

    Ah! they want to keep milking Americans..

    February 25, 2014 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  20. gstlab3

    no,no and no again to any and all extended and immediate family ties going back and forth to Washington D.C.
    Just say no to nepotism and the good old boys club.
    throw all of them out every chance you get so they never become to comfortable if you know what I mean?
    Just say no to any and all incumbants and people who are tied to these corrupt useless parties.

    February 25, 2014 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  21. UnReal23442

    So this seat has been held by 2 people and they are father, son. This is what's wrong with government when a senator can serve a life sentence in office. Now the wife wants to take over. Come on time to vote these people out.

    February 25, 2014 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  22. He's A Chronic Liar

    Wow. This article is pretty much a complete list of what's wrong with American politics. Trophy wife, who helped GM bottom out, wants to represent the thriving community of Detroit. I'd make a snide comment but why bother, the article does it for me.

    February 25, 2014 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  23. Greg

    "Democrats dominate Michigan's 12th Congressional District, which includes several working class southern suburbs of Detroit known as the "Downriver" area." Otherwise known as the ghetto!

    February 25, 2014 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  24. darko2k

    "In addition to her 30-year career at General Motors as a senior executive, Dingell has served on multiple boards of charities and organizations and has chaired several political campaigns, including former Vice President Al Gore's presidential campaign in Michigan. "

    That's a resume that she might want to keep under wraps...

    February 25, 2014 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  25. Alpha Deus

    She wants the power back huh?

    February 25, 2014 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
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