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Michigan Rep. Dan Benishek will not seek a 4th term in Congress

Sep 15, 2015

Congressman Dan Benishek (R-MI 1st) surprised political observers today by announcing he will not seek a fourth term in office. Earlier this year Benishek said he would break a commitment to only serve three terms and seek a fourth. Now he’s returned to his three-term commitment and will retire in 2016.

More from Roll Call:

“Today I’m announcing that I won’t seek re-election next year, which will allow me to focus my time and attention on helping our veterans and working to make things better for the families and workers throughout Northern Michigan, and devote more time to my family,” Benishek said in a statement.

The First Congressional District takes up the Upper Peninsula and much of northern lower Michigan and is one of the most competitive districts in the state.

Democrats believe they have a shot at the seat.

There are two Democratic candidates running in the district, Jerry Cannon, a retired military general and former Kalkaska County sheriff, and former Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson.

Roll Call has more on who the Republican candidates might be:

*State Sen. Tom Casperson, who ran for the seat in 2008 and lost to Stupak.

*State Rep. Peter Pettalia, who had already been mulling a primary challenge to Benishek in 2016.

*Former state Sen. Jason Allen, who lost to Benishek in a GOP primary in 2010 by 15 votes, and who was also weighing a primary against Benishek if he ran.

*State Sen. Wayne Schmidt, who is from Traverse City.