Michigan: Thaddeus McCotter Resigns From Congress

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:29pm

Updated 6:30 p.m. | Michigan Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, who ran a quixotic presidential bid and then failed to get enough signatures to appear on the GOP ballot for his 6th term, announced late today he had resigned from office.

“Today I have resigned from the office of United States Representative for Michigan’s 11th Congressional District,” he said in a statement sent out by his campaign and posted to Facebook.

“After nearly 26 years in elected office, this past nightmarish month and a half have, for the first time, severed the necessary harmony between the needs of my constituency and of my family. As this harmony is required to serve, its absence requires I leave. The recent event’s totality of calumnies, indignities and deceits have weighed most heavily upon my family. Thus, acutely aware one cannot rebuild their hearth of home amongst the ruins of their U.S. House office, for the sake of my loved ones I must ‘strike another match, go start anew’ by embracing the promotion back from public servant to sovereign citizen,” he said.

Martin Van Valkenburg, McCotter’s chief of staff, confirmed the resignation to Roll Call.

McCotter, one of the chamber’s more quirky Members, was known as a guitar-playing, chain-smoking loner in recent years. But his early Congressional career included a stint as the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee.

After bollixing up getting enough signatures to get on the ballot, McCotter originally said he would mount a write-in campaign, but changed his mind and announced his retirement last month.

Now, he’s leaving early.

It will be up to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) to declare the 11th district seat vacant and schedule a special election. It’s possible that Snyder will schedule the special election to be held concurrently with the already scheduled primary and general elections. Michigan’s primary is slated for Aug. 7.

The Republican on the primary ballot is little-known reindeer rancher Kerry Bentivolio. However, local and national Republicans are backing the write-in candidacy of former state Sen. Nancy Cassis. She will now presumably have the opportunity to get on to the special election ballot.

Local Democrats endorsed internist Syed Taj, but he also faces a primary. The district favors Republicans, but could be competitive.

McCotter’s resignation leaves the House with three vacancies. The other two are in Washington’s 1st district and New Jersey’s 10th district. To see a full list of Members who have already resigned this Congress, check out our Casualty List.