ST. JOSEPH — U.S. Rep. Fred Upton has yet to say whether he plans to run for an 18th consecutive term.
With Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy – another long-tenured Republican congressman – saying Monday he will soon resign, Upton is keeping his campaign intentions private.
“We don’t have any announcement to make right now about Fred’s plans in 2020, but Fred and our team continues to check all the boxes needed in order to run for re-election,” Josh Paciorek, a spokesman for Upton, wrote in an email to The Herald-Palladium.
Prior to his 2018 campaign, it took Upton until November 2017 to announce his plans to again run for the 6th District seat.
However, at that time the St. Joseph native was also pondering a U.S. Senate run against incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
Ten Republican representatives have announced recently their decisions to depart Congress. Duffy was the latest, with his decision spurred by news that he and his wife’s expectant child, due in October, has a heart condition.
Upton, 66, has represented Southwest Michigan in Congress after being first elected in 1986 to Michigan’s 4th District. He later became the 6th District’s congressman after boundaries were redrawn in 1992.
Over the majority of his career, Upton had never earned less than 54 percent of the vote in his district.
That changed in 2018 when Upton eked out a 4-point re-election win after last year’s Democratic challenger, Matt Longjohn, carried his home turf of Kalamazoo County.
So far state Rep. Jon Hoadley has announced his intent to run against Upton in 2020.
Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo, is in his third and final term as the state representative for the 60th House District.
Michigan’s 6th District encompasses about 720,000 people in the counties of Allegan, Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren.
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