Ehlers Likely to Announce Retirement Wednesday

Posted February 9, 2010 at 8:37pm

Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) will make an announcement about his “future plans” Wednesday morning, and he is expected to say he will not seek re-election. Michigan TV station WWMT Newschannel 3 as well as Hotline’s On Call blog, citing anonymous sources, are reporting that Ehlers will announce that he is retiring.

Ehlers released a statement Tuesday saying he will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. in Grand Rapids to address “speculation about his plans to continue serving West Michigan.” Ehlers told Roll Call last year that he always waits until February to decide if he will seek another term.

First-term state Rep. Justin Amash (R) decided he wasn’t going to wait for an official word from Ehlers about his plans and he announced Tuesday via Facebook he is running for the 3rd district seat.

The district, which lies in West-Central Michigan and takes in Grand Rapids, the state’s second-most populous city, is likely to stay in GOP hands regardless of whether Ehlers runs for a ninth term. The district’s residents were evenly split in the 2008 presidential election — giving 49 percent each to President Barack Obama (D) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — but the district went by a double-digit margin for President George W. Bush (R) in 2000 and 2004.

Ehlers has been comfortably re-elected each cycle since winning a 1993 special election.