(WXYZ) — Former Rep. Paul Mitchell, who left the Republican Party over the party's refusal to accept the defeat of former President Trump, has died. He was 64.
His death comes just two months after Mitchell announced he had stage 4 renal cancer.
Mitchell was elected as a Republican in 2017 and represented Michigan's 10th Congressional District and served two terms.
He later announced he would not run again to spend more time with his family, and also because of the partisanship in Congress.
"You look at the rhetoric and vitriol, it overwhelms policy, politics becomes the norm," he told Politico in 2019.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued this statement following Mitchell's passing:
Congressman Paul Mitchell was a fierce, independent voice for Michiganders. Throughout his tenure in the United States Congress, he led with his values and always spoke out for what he felt was right, even when he had to go against his own party, the president, or conventional political wisdom. After an incredibly successful career in the private sector, Paul entered public life, channeling his passion for people and innovative mind to help his neighbors and community succeed. He embodied values that we all aspire to have—he was independent, witty, and principled. Simply put, he was Paul, a joyful warrior for the people he believed in and for Michigan, the place that he loved. My thoughts are with Paul’s family, his six kids, six grandkids, his staff, and all those who were lucky enough to call him a friend. Paul, we will miss you.
Rep. Debbie Dingell released the following statement on Mitchell's death:
Rep. Paul Mitchell was a class act and stood up for what he believed in. He was a close friend and colleague of mine, always willing to listen, even when we disagreed. Until the very end, Paul kept a smile on his face and humor in his words, just like John Dingell. My heart is with his wife, Sherry, and their children.
Congressman John Moolenaar made the following statement:
“Today, I mourn the loss of my friend and colleague, and I offer my condolences to Paul’s wife Sherry and their entire family. Paul and I competed against one another, but we also quickly became friends, and I will always be grateful for his friendship and service to our nation. He always stood up for his beliefs, especially as the leader of the School Choice Caucus, and he worked hard to do what was right for Michigan families. I am heartbroken by Paul's passing and know he will be greatly missed.”
“Paul Mitchell was a great representative who passionately fought for the people he served," Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth said. "He earned his reputation for caring deeply about the issues and about his community, and his passing will be felt every person and every cause he leaves behind. I am glad I was fortunate to know him and see his energy up close. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as go through this difficult time.”
“I am deeply saddened to learn of Congressman Mitchell’s passing – a public servant who will be remembered for standing up for our democracy," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. "Paul refused to throw away his integrity to earn political points, and while we may have disagreed on many issues, I will always respect and admire him for his commitment to doing what was right until the very end. My thoughts remain with his loved ones.”