Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan announced his immediate resignation Tuesday amid numerous sexual harassment allegations and endorsed his son to take his seat.
Conyers, 88, announced his decision from a Detroit hospital during an interview on a local radio station.
“I am retiring today, and I want everyone to know how much I appreciate the support, incredible undiminished support I’ve received,” Conyers, the most senior member in the House of Representatives, told radio host Mildred Gaddis.
Conyers said his family will continue his legacy, which he argued would be untarnished by the numerous harassment allegations, and endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to replace him as Detroit’s congressional representative.
“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we are going through now,” he said. “I want you to know that my legacy will continue through my children.”
The news comes after Conyers’ great-nephew, Michigan state senator Ian Conyers told CBS News he plans to run for the seat. The cousins will likely face off with his cousin in a special election to be determined by the Michigan governor.
A number of prominent Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and fellow Congressional Black Caucus leader James Clyburn, urged Conyers to surrender his seat in the wake of sexual harassment allegations levied by at least six former female staffers.
The resignation comes two weeks after Buzzfeed News exposed a $27,000 harassment settlement Conyers’ office paid to a former staffer using tax payer funds.
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