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Benishek says he won't seek fourth term after all, will retire

Northern Michigan's U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek has decided not to run again in 2016, months after announcing he would be seeking a fourth term.

Benishek, a Republican from the Upper Peninsula, released the following statement:


“Today I’m announcing that I won’t seek re-election next year, which will allow me to focus my time and attention on helping our veterans and working to make things better for the families and workers throughout Northern Michigan, and devote more time to my family. I want to thank all of the people throughout the 1st District that had faith in me and allowed me to represent them.  I also want to especially thank the voters, my supporters and staff, and everyone that has worked and volunteered on my campaigns. Judy and I appreciate all your support and all the hard work that you have given us over the years."


In March, Benishek took sharp criticism from opponents when he said he was running in 2016. He had made a pledge while campaigning in 2010 in favor of term limits – saying he supported "a three-term limit on members of Congress." Benishek is currently serving his third term.

Democrat Lon Johnson, the former chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, is the the only candidate who has declared to run for Michigan's 1st congressional district.