Conyers announces retirement, endorses son to succeed him

Rep. John Conyers on Tuesday announced his retirement from Congress while in a Michigan hospital bed, saying he is endorsing his son, John Conyers III, for the seat he has held for more than a half century amid growing sexual-misconduct allegations.

"I'm retiring today," the 88-year-old Michigan Democrat said in a phone interview with a local radio station from a Detroit hospital, where he has been since last month after experiencing chest pains. "I want everyone to know how much I appreciate [their] support."

Conyers, the longest-serving congressman, made the decision two weeks after sexual harassment allegations first surfaced and after returning last week to his Detroit-area district to discuss his political future with family and advisers.

The most recent accusations surfaced Monday and allege Conyers slid his hand up a woman's skirt and rubbed her thighs while they sat next to each other in church during a service more than a decade ago.

The latest accusation comes amid mounting claims and after Conyers was hospitalized.

He made his announcement Tuesday on Praise 102.7's "The Mildred Gaddis Show."

Conyers' endorsement of his son was unexpected, considering his great-nephew, Ian Conyers, a Michigan state senator, said earlier that Conyers would not seek re-election in 2018, instead of retiring, and that he would run for the open seat.

The resignation announcement was also a surprise considering Conyers' attorney, Arnold Reed, said last week that his client wouldn't be forced from office.

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