Updated 10:45 a.m. EDT, December 5, 2017
Speaking from his hospital bed, Rep. John Conyers Jr. announced his immediate retirement from congress, as he battles multiple allegations of sexual harassment, the Washington Post reported. He also endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress.
“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now. This, too, shall pass. My legacy will continue through my children,” the 88-year-old congressman stated during a radio interview.
On Monday night, the congressman’s grand-nephew, Ian Conyers, stated that he has plans to run for Conyers’ vacant seat. It’s unclear if the endorsement of John Conyers III will change his plans.
Michigan’s Democratic Rep. John Conyers will announce Tuesday on a local radio show that he will not seek re-election, amid calls from some leaders of his own party for him to resign over multiple sexual harassment allegations, The New York Times reported.
READ MORE: Embattled Rep. John Conyers Hospitalized
“He is not resigning. He is going to retire. His doctor advised him that the rigor of another campaign would be too much for him just in terms of his health,” said Michigan state Sen. Ian Conyers, the congressman’s grand-nephew, who plans to run for his great-uncle’s congressional seat.
This comes as long-time congressional colleagues are calling on Conyers to resign, including Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the chamber’s highest-ranking African American, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). At first, the California congresswoman pointed to Conyers’ leadership on issues like protecting women from violence and urged fellow lawmakers to grant him due process. But later Pelosi said she discovered the seriousness of the allegations against Conyers, the longest-serving House member. Conyers, 88, came under fire when it came to light that he settled a sexual harassment claim with a former employee in 2015 for more than $27,000, taken from his taxpayer funded congressional budget. Since that revelation, several other women and staffers came forward with similar stories.
Ian Conyers, 29, said his great-uncle still has the support of voters in their Detroit district, despite the sexual misconduct accusations. He added that his family has worked hard in government for the people they represent, and he expects the voters to reward the family’s efforts by electing him. The younger Conyers has served in the state Senate for about a year and intends to run for re-elections, but he will abandon that plan for the opportunity to go to Washington.
SOURCE: New York Times