Upton cites Sanders's popularity in saying he will seek reelection

Upton cites Sanders's popularity in saying he will seek reelection
© Greg Nash

Rep. Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonOvernight Defense: Pentagon curtails more exercises over coronavirus | House passes Iran war powers measure | Rocket attack hits Iraqi base with US troops House passes measure limiting Trump's ability to take military action against Iran House passes .3 billion measure to fight coronavirus MORE (R-Mich.) announced he will seek reelection Monday, saying Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Judge slams Wisconsin governor, lawmakers for not delaying election amid coronavirus outbreak The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden offers to talk coronavirus response with Trump MORE’s (I-Vt.) status as a front-runner “probably” influenced his decision.

The Michigan Republican declared he would campaign in 2020 to keep his seat, citing “unfinished” business, like the opioid epidemic and immigration reform. 

“I am raising my hand and committing to work with anyone of any party to deliver results, protect our communities and simply solve problems,” Upton said in a statement obtained by The Hill. “Despite what you hear, there are good people in both parties doing good work. We just need more of them.”

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But Upton added that Sanders’s rise to the front of the pack in the 2020 presidential race also influenced his decision to try to stay, he told The Associated Press. Republicans believe that if the self-described democratic socialist obtains the Democratic nomination, their party has a greater chance of winning back the House. 

Upton told the news outlet that he predicts a Sanders nomination would harm down-ballot Democratic campaigns because the senator is “too much to chew on” for many Michigan voters.

Currently, Republicans are eyeing 18 additional seats in the lower chamber to regain control. 

The Michigan Republican was eyed as a possible retiree in the House after 27 Republicans have announced they will not run for reelection and four others have resigned and left the lower chamber. He has served since 1987.