After 29 full terms, the longest serving member of the House of Representatives John Dingell is resigning, NBC News has confirmed.
The 87-year-old Michigan Democrat will resign at the end of his current term, following weeks of speculation that he might resign. In his 58 years in office, he rose to become one of the most influential members of Congress, with a hand in dozens of important bills including Medicare, the Civil Rights Act, and the Affordable Care.
Just as Dingell succeeded his father 58 years ago, local Democrats expect that another Dingell—John’s wife, Deborah—will run to succeed him, continuing the Dingell name in the seat. The seat will likely remain blue; the president won 66% of the vote there in 2012.
Deborah Dingel is a Democratic National Committee member and a former General Motors executive; she mulled a Senate run earlier this year, but decided against it.
Dingell cited frustration with partisan gridlock as a reason for his retirement, adding his name to the growing list of influential politicians like former Sen. Olympia Snowe and Rep. Rodney Alexander who have resigned in recent years thanks to the uber partisan and gridlocked Congress.
“I find serving in the House to be obnoxious,” he told the Detroit Free News. “It’s become very hard because of the acrimony and bitterness, both in Congress and in the streets.”
Last year, Dingell quipped, “I wouldn’t bring the 10 commandments up for fear they would get voted down.”
Dingell, who represents the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, could announce his retirement as soon as Monday.