VIDEO: Rep. Fred Upton makes emotional retirement announcement

“Even the best stories have a last chapter: This is it for me.”
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 10:36 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 5, 2022 at 12:19 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Fred Upton, Michigan’s most senior lawmaker in Congress, has announced he will retire from the House at the end of his term.

The decision follows months of Upton’s hesitation to make an announcement about his political future.

Upton was one of ten Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump over the Capitol riots in January of 2021.

More: Rep. Fred Upton pushing back against GOP downplaying Capitol riot

Rep. Upton (R-St. Joseph) made an emotional announcement on the House floor Tuesday morning, reflecting on his career and his past and current colleagues along with the Michiganders he represents.

Rep. Debbie Dingell, whose late husband John, worked across the aisle with Upton during his career, took the podium immediately after Upton’s announcement, to reflect on the work they had accomplished together.

“While we may not have found harmony on every issue, Fred and I always managed to disagree without vitriolic rhetoric and mean-spirited language,” Dingell said. “Even through our toughest discussions, Fred always found a way to make me laugh - except today. It is his civility that I, and Congress, will miss the most. Fred really believed that he was an American first - that reaching across the aisle was important, that working together was how to get things done for the American people. His retirement is a loss for this country and especially the people of Michigan.”

Rep. Dingell noted how much Upton means to her and her family, as he was so close to her late husband.

“Fred is a dear friend to me, he was John’s best friend. He was there when John died. He is one of the greatest Michiganders to serve our country.”

Congressman Bill Huizenga, who would have run against Upton in his next election, said, “I want to thank Fred for his commitment, service, and dedication to Michigan over the years. Fred and I have worked together on a host of issues including prioritizing the protection of the Great Lakes, leveling the playing field for Michigan agriculture, and supporting efforts to clean up PFAS and lead contamination. Fred’s statesman-like legacy will be remembered both in Michigan and our nation’s capital. I wish both he and Amey the best as they start their next chapter.”

“Over decades of service, he has protected the Great Lakes and shaped major legislation on energy, the environment, manufacturing, and so much more. Mr. Upton’s leadership is bipartisan, commonsense, and empathetic,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “We could all learn something from his tenure and strive to live and lead with the values he embodies. I know that Mr. Upton will continue getting things done for Michiganders and leading on the issues that matter most in our great state.”

With the latest redistricting of the state’s political maps following the 2020 Census, Upton, 68, was drawn into the new 4th District with Rep. Bill Huizenga of Holland. The new district covers southern Ottawa County to northern Berrien County, including all of Allegan and Van Buren counties, Upton’s hometown of St. Joseph, a portion of Kalamazoo County, and Battle Creek. Upton would have kept more of his current territory than Huizenga would.

“Even the best stories have a last chapter: This is it for me.”
“Fred is a dear friend to me, he was John’s best friend. He was there when John died. He is one of the greatest Michiganders to serve our country.”
Upton’s background
  • Upton attended the University of Michigan, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1975.
    • Upton served as a sports editor of the newspaper for UM and had dreams of covering the Chicago Cubs one day.
  • Prior to being elected to Congress in 1986, Upton worked for President Ronald Reagan in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
  • From 2010-16, Upton was selected by House colleagues to serve as Chairman of the Committee of Energy and Commerce.
  • He also served in the Subcommittee on Energy as a ranking member, the Subcommittee on Health, and the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce.

This is a developing story that will be updated throughout the day.

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