DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan politician and son of Detroit’s first black mayor is set to run for the congressional seat longtime Rep. John Conyers vacated last week amid sexual harassment allegations, his spokesman said Friday.
State Sen. Coleman Young II will announce plans Monday to seek the office Conyers represented for five decades. The 88-year-old Democratic congressman, who was facing a House Ethics Committee investigation over claims by former staffers, cited health reasons for his retirement.
Young sought the mayoral seat his late father, Mayor Coleman A. Young, once held, but he lost to incumbent Mike Duggan in the November general election.
“He is battle-tested. This mayoral race has prepared him,” Young spokesman Adolph Mongo told The Associated Press. “He knows the issues in the 13th District. He’s been campaigning for 10 months on the issues.”
Young would run in the scheduled Democratic primary and a special election if Gov. Rick Snyder calls one, Mongo added.
Fellow Democratic state Sen. Ian Conyers, John Conyers’ grand-nephew, said earlier this week that he will run for seat in the heavily Democratic district that includes parts of Detroit and some western Wayne County communities.
John Conyers retired Wednesday amid allegations by about a half-dozen women who once worked for him that they were harassed and touched inappropriately. He has denied the allegations.
Some colleagues in the U.S. House had urged Conyers to resign. When he did, he endorsed his 27-year-old son, John Conyers III, to succeed him. The younger Conyers, a partner with a Detroit-based, minority-run hedge fund, posted on Twitter this week that he has not decided whether he wants to run for his father’s old seat. The Associated Press has been unable to reach him for comment.
Conyers III never has been elected to a public post. Ian Conyers won a special election in 2016 for the state senate seat. Young was elected in 2010 to the Michigan Senate. He served in the state House from 2005 to 2010.
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