Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee announces he will not seek reelection

Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan said Thursday that he will not seek re-election next year, citing his recent battle with cancer.

“There are times in all our lives that make you reassess your own future and path. For me, being diagnosed with cancer earlier this year was one of those moments. Thankfully, earlier this year I had successful surgery and I’m cancer-free,” he said in a statement.

Kildee announced in March that he had been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. He underwent surgery in April to remove ​​a small cancerous tumor in his tonsil. The experience, he explained Thursday, has led him to adjust his priorities going forward.

“Running for office, ultimately, is a personal decision first. And this was not an easy decision to make. But I know it’s the right one for me and for my family,” he added.

Kildee, who is the co-chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, is the latest House lawmaker to announce they will not be running in next-year’s high stakes election. His absence could give Republicans a chance to expand their razor-thin majority in the House.

In a statement Thursday, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark said the Michigan lawmaker has been “an unremitting champion for legislation to lower costs, create jobs, and grow the economy,” noting the congressman’s “brought Democrats and Republicans together, securing $100 million to replace lead pipes and expand residents’ access to health care.”

“I am incredibly grateful for Dan’s service, friendship, and collaborative leadership. House Democrats will miss him deeply, and we wish him and his family all the best,” she said.

Kildee represents Michigan’s 8th Congressional District and was first elected in 2012.

CNN’s Clair Foran, Jack Forrest and Brian Rokus contributed to this report.

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