John Conyers Retires Immediately and Endorses His Son for Newly Opened Seat

Congressman John Conyers

Update, 10:25 a.m. Tuesday: U.S. Rep John Conyers says Tuesday morning that he is retiring, effective today, and endorses son John Conyers III for his Congressional seat. 

"My legacy can't be compromised or diminished in any way," he told radio host Mildred Gaddis during an interview Tuesday morning on 102.7 FM.

Asked whether the allegation of sexual harassment are true, he said "they are not accurate or they are not true."

Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, can fill the vacant congressional seat temporarily until a special election. He also could leave it empty and let each party's voters nominate two candidates next August to oppose each other next November. 

Two other Democrats, failed Detroit mayoral candidate Coleman A. Young Jr. and Ian Conyers, a great-nephew of the congressman, say they'll seek nomination. Ian Conyers and John Conyers III are second cousins.

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Article I of the U.S. Constitution says House members can  be replaced only by an election held in the congressional district. The full election cycle must be followed, including each party's nominating processes, primary elections and a general election. The entire process often takes three to six months.

Because of that, Snyder may leave it vacant -- or even appoint a Republican place-holder to represent the solidly Democratic district, an unlikely bit of political mischief. 

Original article, Tuesday morning:

Detroit's 88-year-old congressman reportedly is ready to wrap up the longest career of anyone now in Congress.

"Representative John Conyers Jr., who faces allegations that he sexually harassed former employees, plans to announce Tuesday that he will not seek re-election," Yamiche Alcindor writes at The New York Times website.

She got that information by phone early Tuesday from state Sen. Ian Conyers, a great-nephew who hopes to win the seat in 2018. The 29-year-old legislator is a grandson of the congressman's brother. 

The elder Conyers first won his U.S. House seat in November 1964, 12 months after President John Kennedy's death.

Earlier article, Monday night:

A new accuser steps forward just as U.S. Rep. John Conyers plans to announce whether he'll stay in Congress. The announcement comes Tuesday at 10:15 a.m. on the Mildred Gaddis show on Praise 102.7 FM.

In an affidavit posted on Twitter by her attorney, Elisa Grubbs -- who worked for Conyers from 2001-13 -- alleges Conyers touched her inappropriately “by stroking and rubbing my thighs,” appeared naked before her and slid his hand up her skirt while she sat alongside him in the front row of a church, reports Melissa Melissa Nann Burke of The Detroit News. 

She also says she witnessed him inappropriately touching other female employees. 

Conyers could announce Tuesday that he's staying in office and won't run in 2018, or that he's resigning or that he'll run again at age 89. The latter is the least likely scenario.

"After trashing his accusers, don't expect Conyers to resign," Susan J. Demas, editor and publisher of Inside Michigan Politics newsletter, tweets Tuesday morning.

He could also say he's sticking around pending the outcome of a Congressional probe into the sexual harassment allegations. At a rally Monday,  supporters said he's entitled to due process.

Conyers' latest troubles began when BuzzFeed reported Nov. 20 that his office paid $27,000 to an ex-staffer who claims she was fired after rebuffing his sexual advances. After that, another woman came forward with sexual harassment allegations.

Grubbs is the third known ex-staffer who has alleged sexual misconduct.


Read more:  The New York Times

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