February 10th, 2010
02:16 PM ET
13 years ago

Michigan Republican announces retirement

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/10/art.ehlers.jpg caption=" Michigan Republican Rep. Vern Ehlers said Wednesday he will not run for re-election in November."]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."

Filed under: GOP • Michigan • Popular Posts
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. mario

    Realize that at 76 time to go, shoultd tell the others to do the same

    February 10, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Hannah

    Sue says "not after what Obama and the Democrats have done to Michigan." Wow, you really believe that President Obama is responsible for all of the jobs lost in Michigan. There was a zero job gain during the bush administration with most jobs going off shore. And bush took a Clinton surplus and turned it into a deficit in a years time with tax cuts for the rich and two illegal wars, war that were not reported in the budget so people wouldn't notice. Government grew 12% under bush/cheney, mostly in the area of the Pentagon. But if you like wars and government spending on military and guns instead of for the infrastructure and the people, then just keep on voting Republican.

    February 10, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Steve51

    Funny how Republicans take no responsibility for the economy and either blame it on The Dems, Obama, or that evil genius, Clinton.

    February 10, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. Dar

    If I were 76 i'd retire to, good luck Vern and enjoy.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    February 10, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. james Miller

    Bet he`s got his nest feathered !!!!!!!!

    February 10, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. Babaganusch

    Bunch of classy comments by all the Democrats regarding this guy's decision to retire. You are in control of everything and you're still pi$$ing and moaning.

    February 10, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. cjr

    more republicans need to retire – can't wait to see who shows up at the health care summit – constituents will be watching – we'll who is brave enough to say they will not support health care reform – bet they won't show – republicans have become cowards and with their constant No mantra – I believe they are becoming unamerican – almost acting like Nazi's I would rather vote for a convicted criminal than any republican on any level.

    February 10, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. Hammerer

    I think that some politicians are begining to understand. House cleaning means moving out all of the politicans that march to party needs, both Dems and Repubs.
    That is the "change" voters thought that Hopeandchange would provide as he promised, but gave more of the same just catering to the left.
    Everyone that is in office now needs to be removed and replaced with people of integrity.

    February 10, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. BHO

    Don't you wish they'd all resign?

    February 10, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. The Other Michael in Houston

    Uh Sue, not sure if you ar 12 years old or just got out prison but, the economy in Michigan has been horrible for years. And you unemployment rate is the highest in the country because your only employer Ford collapsed due to it's crooked senior management and the fact that no one wants their crappy cars. Furthermore, when you give tax breaks to companies who move their jobs overseas, as the Bush Administration did, well all that equals 23% unemployment. So hows is that less governement thingy and your so called conservatism kool-aid working for you now.

    February 10, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Mountain Dude

    He has things to do and the GOP is no place to get anything done. They want to get elected by doing nothing but trying to make Obama fail. They don’t care how many Americans lose their jobs in the process either. The GOP wants our government to fail. Any way you paint it the GOP hates America.

    February 10, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. T.G.

    It is obvious that the power for control of Congress could go either way.

    February 10, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. Pat

    It is time to stop being so hateful Republicans vs Democrats and vice versa. Congress serves political pacs and rich donors. Both sides add pork to all bills. The national debt has to be fixed. We need a line item veto and the only way that will become law is if it is raised to a national vote. But it is easy to play the blame game, all politicians do it in order to make themselves look better. So, I'm glad he is stepping down and gets replaced with someone by someone that will fight for people rights.

    February 10, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Dyan, Minnesota

    Where are the screaming headlines about how Republicans are "running from the sinking ship"?? The fact is that more Republicans have decided not to seek re-election and more Repubican seats are at risk this year, but that's not what we'd think from all the headlines about Democratic retirements.

    February 10, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. Martin

    name me one peice of legislation that Mr. Ehlers was responsible for?????

    February 10, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. Hall for Obama

    Hey it could be worst, so think about what you are saying; God got it all in control. Forget about who started it let just work together and fix it.

    February 10, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Mountain Dude

    He must not like being part of the USA hating GOP. Any good person should be embarrassed to be part of the GOP.

    February 10, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. losano

    I think, the Great Obstructionist Party deserves it. Since they have nothing to offer for the good of this great country, they might as well stay home. bye bye, party of NO.

    February 10, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. Patriot

    If Republicans are so much in favor of a limited government, why are they still feeding at the trough?

    February 10, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Robert

    Sue .... LOL.. What Obama's done to Michigan?

    What was the unemployment rate when Bush left office? The same, right?

    Another partisan hack..

    February 10, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Aviate

    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. The unemployment rates in some parts of Michigan, are some of the highest in the nation. The unemployment rate for Detroit alone, is supposed to be about 23%.

    Right, and all of that started on Jan. 20th 2009. It's not like Michigan hasn't been suffering for years going back to when a certain president from TX and a party with an elephant for its logo were calling the shots. In fact, one short year ago, I'm sure it was an economic and employment nirvana. Just like the rest of the US.

    Is there some kind of rule that to be a conservative you have to have an attention span and a memory measured in nano-seconds? I guess that would explain why Sarah! needed to write those GOP talking points on her hand...

    February 10, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. Cando

    Wow Sue, if memory serves me the unemployment rates in Michigan happened on the Bush watch (remember 8 years of repub rule), You need to watch something besides Fox (fake) News.

    February 10, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. Howard

    Good for him. It is time that more of our geriatric representatives step aside, we could use a little new blood in Congress. There either needs to be an age limit or a term limits, some of these guys look like they are just waiting to die in their chairs.

    February 10, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. NYdoc

    Sue, how do you figure that the 23% unemployment rate is the result of democrats? Let's do a fact check on that. The unemployment rate began to spiral down hill well before Obama was in office. It is also safe to say that if you are going to blame an adminstration (if that's even fair to do) it would be the policies of the former adminstration that caused the current unemployment rates. You will note that the current administration has not been in office long enough for any of it's policy to take major effect. Lastly, you are correct, Grand Rapids is a Republican area, but in the last 5-years they have suffered great economic hardship as the result of decisions that have, in part, been made by their Republican elected officials.

    Get off the Party band-wagon. Yeah, us normal people get it. You want your team to win. This is not about winning, this about this country doing well. I could care less which party is in power, just get something done and stop pointing fingers and stop being obstructionist just for the sake of saying the other team is failing.

    United We Stand, Divided We Fall. We are falling right now as a country.

    February 10, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. Max

    The politicians are not responsable for the decline of American Jobs. This blame falls squarley on the shoulders of the American people who buy all the products imported and made in Communist China. Next time your opening that unemployment check think about your shopping habits, sure the politicains have made it easier to get this imported junk, but at what price? Save Jobs and Shop Smart, Buy American.

    February 10, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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