WASHINGTON — Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., resigned from Congress on Friday, a surprise decision that ends a madcap two-month period.
The Michigan Republican and 2012 presidential candidate announced his decision in a lengthy and characteristically verbose statement citing his desire to shift his focus to his family now that his congressional career is over.
“After nearly 26 years in elected office, this past nightmarish month and a half have, for the first time, severed the necessary harmony between the needs of my constituency and of my family,” McCotter said on his Facebook page. “As this harmony is required to serve, its absence requires I leave.”
McCotter failed to qualify for the primary ballot after most of his petition signatures were recently found to be fraudulent. State officials are investigating the matter.
McCotter initially opted to run a write-in campaign, but then announced he would not seek re-election.
His statement continued: “The recent event’s totality of calumnies, indignities and deceits have weighed most heavily upon my family. Thus, acutely aware one cannot rebuild their hearth of home amongst the ruins of their U.S. House office, for the sake of my loved ones I must ‘strike another match, go start anew’ by embracing the promotion back from public servant to sovereign citizen.”
The quotation is from Bob Dylan’s song “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”
McCotter’s bizarre period continued this week when the Detroit News reported that he had written a TV pilot with a rather odd premise — McCotter himself hosting a crude variety show that joked about flatulence and female anatomy, among other things. The script was leaked to the newspaper by a former staffer who thought it unbecoming a member of Congress.
McCotter said in his statement that he will no longer give interviews as the state attorney general investigates his campaign’s fraudulent signatures.
McCotter’s seat leans Republican and should be retained by the GOP. Gov. Rick Snyder, R, does not have to call a special election before the November general election, and it seems unlikely he would do so, given the cost of holding one and the short time between now and then.
McCotter’s is one of three seats that is now vacant. The others are the seats held by former rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., who is running for governor, and Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., who died recently.