Washington (CNN) – Debbie Dingell announced Friday that she's running this year for the seat being vacated by her husband, Rep. John Dingell of Michigan.
"This decision was not easy for me. Let me be clear: I am not running to replace John Dingell (even if I wasn't married to him, I would have tried to convince him to run again). John Dingell is irreplaceable. But my drive to serve the people of this great state has led me here today," Debbie Dingell wrote in an email to supporters.
"I think we need more women at the table in politics and I am excited to show the voters just what we can do together," added Dingell.
John Dingell has served in the House for 58 years. He was 29 when he was first elected in a special election to fill the remainder of his late father's term. John Dingell, Sr. had held the seat since its creation in 1932.
CNN confirmed on Tuesday that Debbie Dingell, the congressman's wife of 38 years and a longtime Democratic National Committee member, would run for her husband's seat. Democratic strategists 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.
In addition to her 30-year career at General Motors as a senior executive, Debbie 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.