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Can Debbie Dingell Continue Michigan Family’s Long Record of Congressional Service?

Debbie Dingell is seeking to replace her husband, John Dingell, in Congress. If her campaign is successful, she'll continue a family legacy in Congress that has lasted 81 years.

John and Debbie Dingell are considered a power couple in Washington, DC, and metro Detroit. (Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
John and Debbie Dingell are considered a power couple in Washington, DC, and metro Detroit. (Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Debbie Dingell is ending speculation that she’ll seek to replace her husband, the longest-serving U.S. congressman ever, with a three-stop campaign announcement tour in southeast Michigan Friday.

Rep. John Dingell, a Democrat who has served in Congress for more than 58 years, cited partisan gridlock when he announced Monday that he would not seek an unprecedented 30th term.

If she’s successful, Debbie Dingell will be the third member of the Dingell family to serve in Congress. John Dingell was elected in a special election in 1955 to replace his father, John Dingell Sr., who had served since 1933 and died of a heart attack while in office.

Together, the father and son held the American record at 81 years for the longest consecutive service for a single family.

Dingell, 60, will kick off her announcement tour in her hometown of Dearborn, the Detroit News reports. She is the first Democrat in the heavily Democratic 12th District to announce her candidacy in the Aug. 5 primary election.

Union Conservatives founder Terry Bowman, a UAW worker and Ypsilanti resident, is expected to announce Monday that he will seek the Republican nomination for the 12th District. Bowman was one of the leaders in the campaign to make Michigan a right-to-work state.

John and Debbie Dingell married in 1981 and became known as a politcal power couple in Washington, D.C. and metro Detroit.

Debbie Dingell also plans stops Friday in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

Berkley Mom February 28, 2014 at 06:50 AM
Let's hope not.
gregg phillips February 28, 2014 at 07:19 AM
they have been there too long? does anyone else see that? I am not slamming the good he did, but right now the direction in mich is not to continue the same old policies. for example auto insurance policies kill mich families roads are a mess job are few and taxes are high. Dingell's are rich.......see the problem folks
Bloomfield1876 February 28, 2014 at 07:25 AM
The Dingells, unfortunately think they live in feudal England where titles and lands and power pass from generation to generation.....no intelligence needed just genes. The poor folks in their district act like feudal slaves who think they don't have a choice......maybe the need a "Braveheart candidate" .
joe smoe February 28, 2014 at 07:43 AM
Sure she can. She also is a worthless, dumb ass, leftist, socialist, abortion-loving obama lover.
Larry February 28, 2014 at 08:12 AM
Why is it that the spouses of public officials think just because they're married to them they are qualified for office? Hillary. Debbie. Smart ladies but so are thousands much more qualified for the job. Then again we elected an inexperienced socialist for President twice thanks to the media's campaign to keep U.S. citizens "dummied up". We need fresh blood in D.C. Not someone who's been living high on the hog off the public trough. C'mon-enough already. Does anyone remember when Bill and Hillary left the White House Hillary was caught stealing White House artifacts and made to return them? Of course not. The reason? Inept media. p.s. here's another thought: term limits. We need most of the bozo's in D.C. replaced with representatives who care for the common man's interests, not get comfortable with being a D.C. elitist once they get in....just my two cents.
Kevin Fischer February 28, 2014 at 08:14 AM
Out with the old and in with the new. Michigan needs a fresh new perspective. A Dingell won't give us that.
Dano February 28, 2014 at 08:15 AM
Time for a change in the 12th district. He served the constituents there for 58 years and is a great example of how the democratic party had free rein of this area and was left (pun intended) to it's devices.
Becky February 28, 2014 at 08:16 AM
Rep. Dingell has been on the forefront of many, many pieces of landmark legislation that are beneficial to us all. If that traditional continues why would anyone object? The point is to be well represented in Congress and that has certainly been the case here. Anyone who wants to can run. If Debbie wants to run then it is her American right. If you don't want to vote for her, don't.
gregg phillips February 28, 2014 at 08:21 AM
no kidding. I wont vote for a family who has run its course and the things that we need change are not being addressed? you have to be very stuck in your ways to want the same old same old policies. on the track for the average Michigan family we need the states auto insurance policy addressed, roads, jobs, taxes, and school funding. these are issues Dingell has not changed with the times hence the failure in all. the dingells still are rich....don't you get that?????
Becky February 28, 2014 at 08:32 AM
Aren't those issues that need to be dealt with in Lansing?
lmc February 28, 2014 at 08:37 AM
John Dingell stayed way too long in his position. Debbie has only the "Dingell" name run on, seriously? It's time for some new ideas & new blood in that position. Debbie needs to stay home and take care of elderly John! She will not get my vote
gregg phillips February 28, 2014 at 08:37 AM
Dingell's have turned a blind eye to these issues which affect Michigan......Detroit ignored the people for years too and see where that got them.......keep voting for the same and that is what you will get....
gregg phillips February 28, 2014 at 08:41 AM
your vote has to look beyond who you like. just because you like them it does not mean they will get the job done. if you are not one of families who are suffering then don't wait till you are because it is coming
Aridog February 28, 2014 at 09:06 AM
I have no idea if Debbie Dingell is qualified other than by association. As for that association, although Dingell had for 50+ years advocated national health care, Rep John Dingell was disrespected by Obama and Pelosi and demoted from his chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, replacing him with Henry Waxman, congressman to the wealthy Hollywood dilatants. Under Waxman's committee leadership, the PPACA was born, and passed, to include the no-vote protocol maneuver that let the Senate essentially make it the law. Regardless of whatever good John Dingell did previously, Obama made him a stooge, and Debbie will be nothing more than that as well. John Dingell was actually too conservative (think NRA etc.) for Obama. Nothing would please Obama more than to continue to place holding. The extent of his respect was limited to a seat beside Obama when he signed the PPACA. That may have been for good actually as Waxman isn't 1/10th the man Dingell is (an Dingell wanted cradle to grave Medicare more or less), however, the end result was crap for all of us. In my opinion we need a new face, name and background in the 12th District seat. A Republican UAW member sounds about right to me and I will research Terry Bowman to see if he's worth my vote. A point made earlier about how John Dingell performed as a representative for his constituency individuals and that is unparalleled...at least in my case. However, he lost his clout under Obama and wasn't likely to regain it. Further, if you happen to chance meet Rep Dingell and Mrs. Dingell on the street, you might be surprised that they willingly stop and talk to you. He's done a lot of good, helped some bad, and it is just time for a new face and mind set.
Racer Boy February 28, 2014 at 09:30 AM
Ms. Dingell bears very little political similarity to her husband. Just like our president, she is a very self-centered, egotistical, liberal demogog. Unfortunatley, the constituency she represents, as they always do, will simply pull the lever for her because she is a Democrat. They will be getting exactly what they deserve. The rest of us will be forced to live with it.
Mark Bottenhorn February 28, 2014 at 09:45 AM
Wow a UAW Republican running for the seat against Dingell. I bet the unions will just love that. As for the Dingell dynasty it really needs to end. I think her and the son flipped a coin and she won so she is running for the seat. My vote will not be for a Dingell. He served this district well over the years helping the auto wokers out and a few other things as well. He is a gun supporter too which I have to respect. But the way Obamacare was introduced or shall I say snuck in before the deadline is a real problem for me. They should have taken their time,knew what was in the bill first and made sure it was right then vote on it. They have had since 2010 to make it right and it still has been chnged 90+ times. No more Dingells. Sorry no vote here. I hope someone from the Democrat party will step up and run against her and win.
Bob February 28, 2014 at 10:26 AM
Dingell was in there 50 years more than he should have been. Is this his wife or his daughter? What makes her think she is qualified other than her name?
Chicago Way February 28, 2014 at 10:41 AM
"In 2009 Congressman Dingell introduced H.R. 3962, The Affordable Health Care for America Act. The House passed Dingell's bill later that year..." 'Nuff said - he brought this pox, ObamaCare, upon us. You have to separate Dingell, the avuncular elderly man, from Dingell, the destroyer of the world's greatest health care system. 81 years of Dingells has taken a devastating toll on Michigan.
Mark Bottenhorn February 28, 2014 at 10:49 AM
Isn't the daughter in charge of our terrible roads in Michigan too. Maybe another Dingell we should rid ourselves from. just sayin. Desana was also in that position many years ago and he didn't fix the roads either. Maybe someone who knows cement and building roads should be put in charge not a politician. Wow what a thought
James February 28, 2014 at 11:47 AM
If Barbara Bush is smart enough to recognize that the country has Bush fatigue and though Jeb may be the best Bush president ever, she still tells him not to run. Let's hope Debbie is as smart as Barbara.
George Kilpatrick February 28, 2014 at 12:22 PM
No more hand me downs please! Get some new blood in there. No more Dingell-berries!
Aridog February 28, 2014 at 12:23 PM
"Racer Boy" ....I am a 30+ year "constituent" of Dingell or Conyers. Trust me, I will not be pulling any levers for Debbie or any other Democrat. I made my statement above, but I'll not vote for any Democrat ever again in my District, which is the 12th.
Les February 28, 2014 at 05:27 PM
This is a constitutional republic, NOT A MONARCHT!!!! Time for the Dingells to go ------ not only John, but also Debbie should retire. Debbie has absolutely ZERO qualifications to be my represenative in congress
K2 February 28, 2014 at 07:26 PM
If she really thinks she is fit for the position try running under her maiden name.
Bloomfield1876 February 28, 2014 at 10:11 PM
K2...... Fab idea. The only neg of Dingell retiring is.....thought it would provide great new episodes for the Walking Dead TV show.
Carol Cook March 01, 2014 at 10:03 AM
Ridiculous….bow out gracefully.
Mark Bottenhorn March 01, 2014 at 02:15 PM
Once you have that power it is hard to give up. Darn look how long it took John to give it up.
gregg phillips March 02, 2014 at 07:59 AM
that is why the voters need to make sure she is done......the ego's of these families who bleed our tax dollars and do nothing to help the poor and middle class when they themselves live high on the hog.....can anyone explain why the poor and middle class are doing the same and the rich in the political world keep getting richer......dam liberals.....got to go
K2 March 02, 2014 at 05:45 PM
it can be explained by all the people that keep voting for a straight party ticket, but now that things are in the toilet are traveling the river of de-nile. There needs to be a huge change in voting, not saying one party is better but we all need to start looking at candidates as opposed to parties and personal candidate agendas.
Nickel March 02, 2014 at 08:12 PM
great comment berkley mom. I am tired of Dingell's in office. live your lives and enjoy each others company

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