May 19, 2024

Rep. Dan Kildee announced Thursday he would not run for reelection in 2024 and will leave Congress at the end of his term.

The Michigan Democrat said in a video posted on X that for most of the year, he was “actively planning” his reelection campaign but decided against it after being diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year.

“I had successful surgery, and I’m cancer-free. But after spending time with my wife, my children, my grandchildren, contemplating our future, the time has come for me to step back from public office,” the Flint-area congressman said.

Mr. Kildee was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a serious but curable form of cancer. Doctors this year removed a small tumor in one of his tonsils.

“This was not an easy decision for me to make. But I know it’s the right one for me and for my family. I’m confident that Michigan will reelect President Biden, will entrust Democrats with legislative majorities, and will elect a Democrat to serve Michigan’s 8th District after I retire from Congress.”

Mr. Kildee, 65, was first elected to Congress in 2012 after serving in several elected local posts and after his uncle, Rep. Dale Kildee, retired after representing the region for 18 terms.  

His exit from Capitol Hill will end his family’s representation of the area in Washington for the first time since 1977.

Mr. Kildee, who won his sixth term in 2022 after defeating Republican Paul Junge, serves on the Budget Committee, the Ways and Means Committee and as co-chairman of the Steering and Policy Committee.

He also has long served as the Democrats’ chief deputy whip.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, New York Democrat, praised Mr. Kildee for his work, specifically citing the Flint water crisis.

“A son of Flint, Congressman Dan Kildee has kept his hometown and the hardworking people of Michigan at the center of his career in public service,” he said.

“In Congress, Dan has been a champion for working families in the Heartland and throughout America. Amid the horrific Flint Water Crisis, Dan worked across the aisle to unite Republicans and Democrats to deliver much-needed relief to his community,” Mr. Jeffries said. “In the years since, Dan has never stopped fighting for clean drinking water for Flint and communities across Michigan dealing with the harmful impacts of lead pipes, forever chemicals like PFAS and more.

“I wish him and his family the best as he embarks on this next chapter.”