April 7th, 2010
11:47 AM ET
13 years ago

Stupak considering retirement?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/07/art.stupak.gi.file.jpg caption="Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak was a prime target of anger about the health care bill."](CNN) - Is Michigan Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak considering retiring? A statement from his spokeswoman Michelle Begnoche neither confirms, nor denies that.

"Every two years, Congressman Stupak discusses with his family and his constituents whether to seek reelection. He believes that is what the people of the First District of Michigan deserve," said Begnoche.

However, she also says Stupak's campaign plans are underway, and has already gathered the one thousand signatures needed to formally file for re-election by Michigan's deadline, May 11th.

And, despite the rumors and cryptic statement, several Michigan Democrats who know Stupak tell CNN they do not think he will retire.

The anti-abortion Democrat gained national notoriety last month by helping deliver the remaining votes House Democrats needed to pass health care reform after cutting a deal with the White House that Stupak says ensures no taxpayer money will be used to fund abortions.

That made Stupak a prime target of anger about the health care bill. The Tea Party Express plans to hold three rallies in his rural Michigan district later this week, and three potential GOP challengers plan to attend. Stupak also lost support from anti-abortion groups that had traditionally backed the Democrat. The Right To Life of Michigan rescinded their endorsement and another anti abortion group, the Susan B Anthony List, took back his "Defender of Life" award.

Stupak is also now facing a slew of criticisms from left - abortion rights groups who think he forced too many abortion restrictions in the health care bill are trying to raise money for his Democratic primary challenger, Connie Saltonstall.

Still, several Michigan political experts tell CNN they believe it would be hard to unseat Stupak. He is a popular figure in his sprawling rural Upper Peninsula district, and the anti-abortion, anti-gun Democrat still seems to fit the largely Catholic, socially conservative constituency.

And, so far, Stupak's potential challengers are unknown and not well funded.

"The idea that Stupak, who has been a congressman for 18 years can be beaten by somebody with no money – from left or right – with no constituency, is unlikely" said Bill Ballenger of Inside Politics Michigan, a political newsletter.

Filed under: 2010 • Bart Stupak • Michigan
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. aware

    The "Jonah Complex" is the clash between what I feel good about in myself and what I am under commission to do for God – the tension between coziness and character. Its not all about you or Obama! 🙁

    April 7, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. The Other Michael in Houston

    I cannot wait to see all the Republican Jihadist jumping off roofs when you find out that the lie you keep selling yourselves that the Republican Jihadist Establishment will be picking up all theses seats in November. It will be as funny as 2008 when all of you same people swore there would never be an African American President. We will make sure the President has all the people he needs to move this country foward, trust me. 70 million of us will nake sure of that so it makes not difference if Congressman Stupak retires, we will put another Democrat in his seat.

    April 7, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. Bristar

    Extremely smart move for someone who has betrayed his country and beliefs.

    April 7, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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