Ex-Rep. Paul Mitchell, who left GOP over Trump, dies
Former Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell, who left the Republican Party last year over former President Trump’s refusal to accept the 2020 election results, has died at the age of 64 after a battle with renal cancer.
Mitchell died Sunday, according to a statement from his wife, Sherry Mitchell.
“I am immensely proud of him and never more so than when he was the lone voice in a sea of politicians who cared more about power than the true definition of the office. When he remained the lone voice and ignored the threats from those claiming to be his friends,” his wife wrote. “Paul stood up for what matters most, it had nothing to do with political ideology and everything to do with keeping our humanity. For everyone.”
Mitchell, who served on the leadership team of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), did not seek a third term in the House in 2020, pointing to the partisan bickering and gridlock in Washington.
But in December, just a month after President Biden’s victory over Trump, Mitchell said he was taking the unusual step of leaving the GOP completely and becoming an independent.
In a letter addressed to McCarthy and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, a fellow Michigander, Mitchell directly called out Trump and his GOP allies for continuing to sow doubt about the results of the presidential election.
Weeks later, the U.S. Capitol was sacked by a violent mob of Trump loyalists trying to halt Congress’s certification of Biden’s victory.
“It is unacceptable for political candidates to treat our election system as though we are a third-world nation and incite distrust of something so basic as the sanctity of our vote,” Mitchell said in his statement announcing he was defecting from the GOP. “Further, it is unacceptable for the president to attack the Supreme Court of the United States because its judges, both liberal and conservative, did not rule with his side or that ‘the Court failed him.’
“It was our Founding Fathers’ objective to insulate the Supreme Court from such blatant political motivations.”
While there may have been isolated cases of voter fraud and administrative issues with the 2020 election, Mitchell continued, “the president and his legal team have failed to provide substantive evidence of fraud or administrative failure on a scale large enough to impact the outcome of the election.”
First elected to Congress the same year as Trump, Mitchell, a former business executive, was one of the wealthiest members of Congress with a net worth estimated at nearly $180 million.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by six children and six grandchildren.
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