Moderate Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) announced his retirement from Congress in an emotional House floor speech on Tuesday, telling his colleagues that “even the best stories have a last chapter.”
“This is it for me,” said Upton, who was first elected to Congress in 1986 but faced a strong primary challenge from fellow Michigan GOP Rep. Bill Huizenga.
“I’ve worked with seven administrations, seven House speakers — none of them would call me a rubber stamp. If it’s good policy for Michigan, it’s good enough for all of us,” added Upton, who was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump following last year’s Capitol riot.
“Someone asked my wife Amy, what would be the next chapter?” the outgoing lawmaker concluded, choking up as he spoke. “She said ‘And they lived happily ever after.’ Indeed we will.”
Upton, who may be best known as the uncle of supermodel Kate Upton, was forced to compete with Huizenga for the same southwestern Michigan district after the Great Lakes State lost a House seat following the 2020 census.
Michigan Democrats were also affected by redistricting, with Rep. Brenda Lawrence announcing her retirement in January after her hometown was drawn into a district currently represented by fellow Democrat Debbie Dingell.
Upton is the fourth of the 10 pro-impeachment Republicans to leave Congress after this year’s midterm elections, joining Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio and John Katko of New York.
Trump celebrated Upton’s retirement on Tuesday, writing in a statement, “UPTON QUITS! 4 down and 6 to go. Others losing badly, who’s next?”
Upton joins 16 other Republican members of the House who will not contest their seat this fall. So far, 31 Democrats have announced they will not seek reelection.
Democrats face a steep climb to keep the majority in both chambers later this year, as the GOP will only need a net gain of five seats to win back the majority in the House.