U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Jr., who faces allegations that he sexually harassed former employees, said today he is retiring from Congress, reports the Associated Press. Conyers endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to replace him. The New York Times reports that Ian Conyers, 29, a Michigan state senator and the grandson of John Conyers’s brother, plans to run for the seat long held by his 88-year-old great-uncle, a Democrat who represents the Detroit area.
Ian Conyers said the congressman’s “doctor advised him that the rigor of another campaign would be too much for him just in terms of his health.” John Conyers, who took his seat in the House in 1965, has already stepped aside as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee amid swirling allegations of sexual improprieties. He had been facing intense pressure to resign. Speaker Paul Ryan and Representative Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, each said Conyers should resign after a woman who settled a sexual harassment claim against him said on television that the congressman had “violated” her body, repeatedly propositioned her for sex and asked her to touch his genitals. Other former staff members have since come forward to say he harassed them or behaved inappropriately.