By GEORGE WEEKS
Special to the Record-Eagle
and ART BUKOWSKI
TRAVERSE CITY -- Nine-term U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, a Democrat from Menominee won't seek re-election, saying he's "just burned out" amid a political tug-of-war over his federal health care vote and roiling criticism from political opponents.
"I'm just getting tired being gone all of the time," Stupak said, prior to a press conference he planned for 12:30 at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. "I have trouble getting up for the count .... I'm just burned out."
Stupak's comment contrasted recent statements made to a local reporter that he planned to "decompress" and then gear up for reelection.
Stupak, a former Michigan State Police officer, found himself on a political hot seat in recent weeks. He opposed aspects of Congressional Democrats' proposed national health care legislation, based on his anti-abortion rights views. But he and House leaders eventually compromised and Stupak voted in favor of that legislation.
Some callers to his office threatened him, and conservative groups targeted him, and recently announced fundraising efforts aimed at ousting him from office.
Stupak, 58 was elected in 1992 to represent Michigan's First Congressional District in the U.S. House. The district covers 31 counties, including portions of northern Lower Michigan and the entire Upper Peninsula.
The U.P. native and resident won re-election eight times between 1994 and 2008.
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