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Longtime Michigan Rep. Sander Levin to retire

FILE - In this Feb. 10, 2016 file photo, Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich. speaks during a House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing on the Flint water crisis on Capitol Hill in Washington. Levin who has served in Congress for nearly 35 years, will not seek re-election to a 19th term. He plans to make the retirement announcement Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, including at his annual holiday party in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak, according to three Democrats who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss private talks. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Democratic Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, who has served in Congress for nearly 35 years, will not seek re-election to a 19th term.

He plans to make the retirement announcement Sunday, including at his annual holiday party in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak, according to three Democrats who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss private talks. The AP sent emails to Levin aides seeking comment.

The 86-year-old Levin has sat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee for almost 30 years. He was the top Democrat on the panel from 2010 through 2016 and was chairman during the passage of the federal health care law.

Levin, of Royal Oak, has represented varying parts of suburban Detroit since the early 1980s. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, he has been involved in tax, trade, entitlement spending and unemployment compensation policies over his career.

His brother Carl was a longtime U.S. senator, and they are the longest-serving sibling duo in congressional history.

Michigan's 9th Congressional District is a Democratic-leaning seat in Oakland and Macomb counties. Levin's son, Andy — who worked in former Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration and recently considered running for governor before deciding against it — is seen as a likely candidate to run, hinting in a recent newspaper op-ed that he would focus on "building the movement for economic and social justice closer to home." Another potential Democratic candidate is state Sen. Steve Bieda.

Before joining Congress, Sander Levin was the assistant administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development. He was twice the Democratic nominee for governor in the 1970s and earlier was a state senator.

Levin is the second Michigan congressman to decide against seeking re-election, joining second-term Republican Rep. Dave Trott, who represents the neighboring 11th District in suburban Detroit.

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