Dingell, longest-serving lawmaker in Congress, will seek reelection

The longest-serving member of Congress said Saturday he seeks to stay in Congress.

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) said he intends to seek reelection this fall, when he'll be 84 years old.

Dingell made the announcement on Saturday during an appearance before University of Michigan Democrats in Ann Arbor, reported the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News.

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Dingell has served in Congress since 1955, when he won a special election to win the seat that was held by his father, John Dingell, Sr., who passed away.

The Michigan Democrat ascended to a perch atop the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he did much to shepherd away exceptionally stringent emissions standards for his home state auto industry.

Dingell lost that position, though, when now-Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), challenged him for the job and won at the start of this Congress back in 2009. That loss, combined with a serious knee surgery that has kept him on crutches, had prompted speculation that Dingell might retire.

The Michigan liberal has long been an advocate of healthcare reform, as well, leading House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to play a special role in the House debate of health reform legislation over the past year.

Dingell represents Michigan's 15th congressional district, a solidly Democratic district which includes the University of Michigan, much of southeast Michigan, and parts of Detroit.