Debbie Dingell Will Announce Friday She's Running For Her Husband's Seat

February 25, 2014, 2:05 PM

Debbie Dingell plans to announce Friday that she is running for Congress, The Washington Post reports.

Debbie Dingell, whose age is variously reported as 59 or 60, is a prominent Democrat, businesswoman, community activist, frequent guest on TV and radio shows and wife of long-time U.S. Rep. John Dingell, who announced Monday he'll retire after serving in Congress since 1955. The Dingells' Michigan home is Dearborn.

Two people close to Dingell confirmed to The Detroit News she will seek her husband's seat and will make the announcement in the 12th congressional district in southeast Michigan, which stretches from Dearborn through Downriver and into Ann Arbor. It's considered safe Democratic territory, having voted 66 percent for President Obama in 2012.

John Dingell took over the seat that was held by his father since 1933.

Paul Kane and Sean Sullivan report in the Post:

An active congressional spouse, Debbie Dingell is often seen at the U.S. Capitol chatting with lawmakers and aides and was spotted attending the House Democratic policy retreat two weeks ago on Maryland's Eastern Shore alongside her husband. She also earned a prominent perch at the State of the Union Address last month, sitting in a front-row seat in the House gallery just a few spots over from first lady Michelle Obama and her invited guests.

Debbie Dingell, married to the congressman since 1981, chairs the Wayne State Board of Governors, whose members are elected on a statewide ballot. She is descended from the Fisher Family, which started Fisher Body and built the Fisher Building, which opened in 1928.

In a 2010 profile in Crain's Detroit Business by Bill Shea, Debbie Dingell was described by longtime Michigan political observer Bill Ballenger as a congressional spouse who has gone "way beyond" other political wives. 

This is her bio from the board website:

Debbie Dingell is currently the President of D2 Strategies, and is Chair of the Manufacturing Initiative of the American Automotive Policy Council. She is an active civic and community leader in both Michigan and Washington, D.C. and is a recognized national advocate for women and children. She recently completed a more than 30 year career at General Motors as a senior executive, where she headed the GM Foundation and public affairs. Mrs. Dingell has both a B.S.F.S. in Foreign Service and an M.S. in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University.

Mrs. Dingell is also a national Democratic strategist, a member of the Democratic National Committee and has chaired numerous political campaigns. She currently chairs several boards, initiatives and committees and sits on numerous cultural, health, social services and civic boards in both Michigan and Washington, D.C. Much of her recent work has been focused on ethical issues and social responsibility as it relates to government and business. A known “bridge-builder,” she continues to promote and lead efforts toward greater understanding among the Detroit area’s Mideast community.

As a respected, bi-partisan voice, she is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and is a regular roundtable Panel participant on Detroit’s WDIV’s “Flashpoint” as well as several other media programs in Michigan and Washington, D.C. She is included in Washingtonian’s 2012 100 most influential women in Washington, DC and Detroit Crain’s listing of the 100 most influential women in Michigan.

In one early reaction, News editorial writer James David Dickson tweets:

Read more:  The Washington Post

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