Michigan Rep. Sander M. Levin will not seek re-election in 2018, he announced Saturday.
“I have been incredibly honored to serve the people of Michigan in Congress and to work on so many issues important to our communities, our state, and our nation,” the 18-term Democrat said in a statement.
“I have tried to live up to the trust given to me by my constituents by following the values of my parents and family and by acting on what I believe after digging deeply into the facts and consulting broadly,” Levin added.
Levin is joining the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
“I want to spend a lot of time talking to the next, next generation and trying to both instill a strong interest on their part in public service and I hope to participate in the effort to create more public trust in government overall,” he told the Detroit Free Press.
First elected in 1982, Levin has long served on the Ways and Means Committee. He became the top Democrat on the committee in 2010, but stepped aside last year to make room for young members and to focus on trade and health care. He remains the ranking member on the Health subcommittee.
“I miss him. It took me a long time not to push the button on my phone to call Carl. I had to learn his cell phone number,” Levin told the Detroit Free Press. “He left with a sense of joy and so do I, with no regrets.”
Levin’s decision will likely spark wide interest from Democrats in a seat that hasn’t been open in decades. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates Michigan’s 9th District a Solid Democratic race.
Levin’s son, Andy Levin, is likely to run for his father’s seat.He recently ruled out a run for governor.
Other potential candidates include State Sen. Steve Bieda, State Rep. Robert Wittenberg, Royal Oak Mayor Michael Fournier, and Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner.
The National Republican Congressional Committee weighed in on Saturday. “We look forward to aggressively competing to turn this seat red in 2018,” communications director Matt Gorman said in a statement.