Longtime Michigan Congressman Dale Kildee retiring

UPDATE:

A number of Michigan politicians are responding to the news of Rep. Dale Kildee's retirement.

Here's the response from Mayor Dayne Walling of Flint:

"Congressman Kildee is an exemplary public servant with a distinguished record of accomplishments that is unmatched in Flint's history."

"Congressman Kildee has been a leader in education, human rights, and social justice. Our community has benefitted time and time again from his wisdom, dedication and hard work."

"I attribute my interest in elected office to working for Congressman Kildee's re-election campaign in 1998. I consider him a mentor and a friend."

Senator Carl Levin also released a brief statement:

“Dale Kildee has been a champion of Michigan’s working families for five decades, and his commitment to education will improve the lives of young people for generations to come. Michigan and the nation are better and stronger because of Dale’s selfless and dedicated service.”

Kildee announced his retirement today.

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ORIGINAL POST:

Rep. Dale Kildee says he is retiring at the end of his current term, his 18th as a Democrat from Michigan.   In a written statement, Kildee said he intends to spend more time with his wife, three children and 10 grandchildren. 

"Now that the new congressional maps have been approved by the Michigan State Legislature, I am confident that the 5th district will remain in Democratic hands and that it is an appropriate time to announce my retirement. While I know I would be able to win re-election in the new 5th district, I've decided that after 36 years in Congress it is time to retire."  

Kildee has been in public office in the Michigan Legislature and  Congress for 47 years. He represents the area around Flint. Michigan's congressional district lines are being redrawn before the 2012 election, as is true in the other states.

Kildee becomes the eighth House Democrat to announce his retirement. Five Republicans have also said they will not seek  re-election next year.