Wife of congressman will sit out Senate race
Debbie Dingell (R) pictured with Rep. Eric Cantor (C) and her husband Rep. John Dingell (L) in February. Rep. Dingell delivered fresh Paczki to Cantor and Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, to celebrate Paczki Day.
April 20th, 2013
11:09 AM ET
10 years ago

Wife of congressman will sit out Senate race

(CNN) - Serving on Capitol Hill is something of a tradition in the Dingell family, but Debbie Dingell announced Saturday she won't be seeking a seat in Washington.

The wife of longtime Rep. John Dingell Jr., D-Michigan, said in a note sent to family and friends and obtained by CNN that it is "critical that Democrats unite behind one candidate for what will be a difficult and expensive race" to replace Sen. Carl Levin, who has chosen not to seek a seventh term next year.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker']

"We have good candidates like [Democratic three-term Rep.] Gary Peters already running, and a primary would be divisive at a time that cries out for unity," she wrote. "As someone who has spent much of my career working to bring people together, it just didn't feel right to take this step now. There may be a time when elective office is the right choice for me, but this was not it."

Had Dingell run and won, she would have served alongside the state's senior senator, Democrat Debbie Stabenow.

"It's also no secret that I think we need more women in the Senate and in the House, and there was an attraction to potentially being the junior member of an All-Debbie Senate delegation," she said in the note.

Instead, she will likely turn her attention to re-electing "good Democrats up and down the ticket, including, needless to say, John Dingell."

Dingell has served nearly 60 years in Congress since his win in a December 1955 special election and subsequent 29 re-election victories.

He is the longest-serving representative in U.S. history. In July he will surpass former Sen. Robert Byrd's tenure in the House and Senate combined.

The 1955 special election followed the death of his father, John Dingell Sr., who served 12 terms.

The political analysts at the Rothenberg Political Report say the seat is "safe" for a Democratic win next year while the Cook Political Report describes it as "lean Democrat."

Filed under: John Dingell • Michigan
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. truth hurts but reality bites

    Good. Senate seats should not be considered family heirlooms to be passed back and forth between family members. We need new blood in Congress, not the same failed liberal ideas that have the country in such bad financial shape, with fewer and fewer people working and paying taxes, while more and more live off the US taxpayer.

    April 20, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    There are NO good Democrats.

    The entire Democratic Party, has become a totally subversive organization, whose entire purpose and goal, is the takeover of America, and the establishment of a social dictatorship, with the Democratic Party running the country for the pure sake of POWER, and destroying America in the process.

    April 20, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    Look at her -- look at her husband.

    Do I smell gold-digger?

    April 20, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. The Elephant in the Room

    Please name the last Republican . . . the last "conservative" . . . president that delivered the nation a budget SURPLUS which allowed America to reduce the National debt. Anyone ? ? Bueller ?

    Can the rightwing cheering squad please stop the "liberals" are spendthrifts LIES? There are TOO MANY facts that betray you and you just make yourselves sound , well, FOOLISH. That was President who?

    April 20, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. Larry L

    It's important to defend those seats that don't contain obstructionists or politicians too afraid of the N.R.A. to vote honestly. We've had enough Republican filibustering and political theater. Democrats now must take more seats in the Senate and throw those right-wing, Tea Party extremists out of the House. It's time to taker America back from the hateful, intolerant, and bigoted right-wing.

    April 20, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    She was born in 1954, he was born in 1926. Oh my.

    April 20, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |