By Steve Carmody, Michigan Public Radio Network
UNDATED – Michigan Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak tells The Associated Press he'll
retire from Congress rather than seek a 10th term this year.
Stupak has drawn stinging criticism from opponents of the recently enacted health care overhaul after leading a bloc of anti-abortion Democrats whose last-minute
support was crucial to its approval by the House.
The Tea Party Express is calling for his defeat at rallies in his sprawling northern Michigan district this week.
Bill Ballenger is a political analyst for Inside Michigan Politics.
"The Tea Party Express has claimed its first scalp," Ballenger says. "I think there's no doubt the pressure that the congressman felt not just from the health care reform vote but all the events and the speculation and controversy leading up to it for months finally got to him and he decided he had enough."
But Stupak tells the AP the attacks didn't influence his decision and he could win
re-election if he tried.
He says he wants to spend more time with his family and start a new career after 18 years in Congress.