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Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, resigned Tuesday after his support among fellow Democrats collapsed amid accusations of sexual harassment by several female employees.
Conyers endorsed his son, John Conyers III, in a rambling radio interview with Detroit host Mildred Gaddis.
"I am retiring today, and I want everyone to know how much I appreciate the support, incredible undiminished support I've received," Conyers said.
Conyers' use of the word "retiring" rather than "resigning" left some uncertainty over when he was vacating the congressional seat he has held since 1965. Later in the day, however, he sent a letter to congressional leaders saying he was stepping down "effective today."
Conyers' replacement will be chosen in a special election.
The Detroit-area seat is strongly Democratic, so Conyers' departure will not affect the balance of power in the House. But it does set up a potential family fight: While the congressman endorsed his son to succeed him, a great-nephew, state Sen. Ian Conyers, has publicly said he intended to seek the seat.
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John Conyers Announces Retirement Amid Sexual Harassment Scandal