Bart Stupak Will Retire
Michigan congressman say tea partiers didn't run him out
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 9, 2010 8:00 AM CDT
A file photo of Bart Stupak.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

(Newser) – Democrat Bart Stupak, targeted for defeat by Tea Party activists for his crucial role in securing House approval of the health care overhaul, said today he would retire from Congress this year. The nine-term congressman told AP he could have won re-election and insisted he wasn't being chased from the race by the Tea Party Express, which is holding rallies this week in his northern Michigan district calling for his ouster .

Instead, the 58-year-old Stupak said he was tired after 18 years in office and wanted to spend more time with his family. "The Tea Party did not run me out," he said. "If you know me and my personality, I would welcome the challenge." During the health care debate, Stupak emerged as spokesman for Democrats who withheld support because they feared it would allow public funding of abortions. He's happy with the result. "I've fought my whole career for health care and thanks to Barack Obama and my colleagues, we've gotten it done."