Facing new district lines and a tough primary election, Michigan Representative Fred Upton announced his retirement on Tuesday, becoming the fourth House Republican to vote to impeach former President Donald J. Trump for refusing to run for reelection.
Mr. Upton, who served in Congress for more than three decades, had significantly redrawn his West Michigan district in the once-a-decade redistribution process, and he faced a tough primary campaign against Representative Bill Huizenga, who called Mr. Trump. endorsed last month.
“This is it for me,” Mr Upton said in an emotional farewell address on the House floor, lamenting the divisiveness of today’s politics. “Hopefully, politeness and ambiguity versus disagreement can reign and not regret the day.”
Of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump last year, the others who voted for retirement are Representatives Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio and John Katko of New York.
Mr Upton’s district, which includes Kalamazoo, was divided during the realignment process, taking more territory near Grand Rapids, which Mr. Huizenga, who has been in Congress since 2011, currently represents.
Mr Trump celebrated the latest retirement in a statement: “UPTON STOPS! 4 down and 6 more to go. Others lose heavily, who will follow?”
Mr Upton has been an institutionalist in the House, even returning after his term as chairman of the powerful Energy and Trade Committee ended and his party was outnumbered.
“Fred Upton is first and foremost a legislator,” said Doug Heye, a former aide to the Republican leadership of the House, saying that Mr. Upton’s work on opioid addiction and the 21st Century Cures Act, health law passed in 2016, “should become the model” for dual performance.
On Monday, Mr. Upton as a potential candidate, Tell NBC News that if he were to win in 2022, it would show that Mr Trump “wasn’t as strong as he thought he was.”
But in the same interview, Mr. Upton expressed some doubts about his plans. “I’m going to run my own race – if we run – we’re going to run our own race,” he said.
When he retired, Mr. Upton invoked his early service in the Reagan administration, where he worked in the Office of Management and Budget. “Reagan worked on both sides of the aisle to get things done, not caring who got the credit,” Mr Upton said in his speech. “And I promised that such a principle would be my guiding light.”
He was immediately followed by a Democrat, Representative Debbie Dingell of Michigan, who called his retirement a “loss to this country.”
“Fred and I always managed to disagree without vitriolic rhetoric,” she said, calling him a “best friend” to her late husband, former Representative John D. Dingell Jr., who passed away in 2019.
Annie Karni contributed from Washington.