A Michigan congressman has decided against running for governor in 2018 and instead will seek a fourth term in the U.S. House.
Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Flint Township made the announcement Tuesday in an email to supporters. His decision leaves former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer as the highest-profile candidate in the Democratic field.
Abdul El-Sayed, the former head of Detroit's health department, has been aggressively seeking to raise his profile with Democrats. Three other lesser-known candidates also are running.
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder cannot run again under term limits.
Kildee said in the email that staying in Congress is where he can make the biggest impact. He said he's not ready to turn away from important fights such as protecting Americans' health insurance and the Great Lakes.
Here is the email Kildee sent out to supporters today:
Over the last five months, I've been leading the fight in Congress against many of President Trump's dangerous policies. If I'm being honest, it's a fight that I didn't expect to be waging after the last election. But it's an important fight — and one we can't back down from. The extreme policies of the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress will have a real impact on Michigan and our country.
Last week in Congress, I watched Republicans begin the repeal of consumer protections put in place after the 2008 financial crisis, effectively putting Wall Street back in charge of our economy. Sadly, I also watched House Republicans pass their health care bill, Trumpcare. The extreme changes President Trump and Republicans are attempting to make to your health care — higher costs for worse coverage, eliminating protections for pre-existing conditions and an age tax on older Americans — are truly frightening. While I fought this terrible bill, Republicans unfortunately prevailed on this vote. But the fight isn't over, and I'm not done fighting. I hope you aren't either.
Undoubtedly, we know that there will be more reckless policies pushed by this new administration. These big battles — over health care, tax reform, protecting the Great Lakes — are going to happen in Congress. As a Representative, I am on the front lines representing our state's interests in these fights. It's a responsibility that I don't take lightly. I truly am honored every day to represent my hometown of Flint and the entire Fifth District in Congress.
As I watched Republicans roll back consumer protections and strip 24 million Americans of their health insurance, it became clear to me that I'm not ready to turn away from these important fights. After talking with my family, I've concluded that the best way for me to continue fighting back against the reckless policies of President Trump is to remain in Congress.
I've truly appreciated all of the encouragement I've received to run for Governor. Right now, staying in Congress is where I know that I can make the biggest impact for you. And I am excited about this work — I feel a sense of duty to fight back, and I know that you are going to continue to be by my side.
We are at a pivotal moment in our nation's history. 2018 will be an important election year. While still far away, I am going to be doing everything I can to help Democrats win, up and down the ballot — from winning local races, to taking back state government, to winning back control of Congress. Too much is at stake — and we have to win.
I hope you'll join me in those efforts. Keep fighting back — if we work together, I am confident that the power of our collective voices will win at the end of the day.