U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) announced on Dec. 14 that he was leaving the Republican Party and changing his affiliation to independent. Mitchell cited differences with the Republican Party leadership for his departure from the party. As a result of leaving the party, Mitchell’s positions on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Armed Services Committee were revoked.
In a letter to Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Mitchell said, “I believe that raw political considerations, not constitutional or voting integrity concerns, motivate many in party leadership to support the “stop the steal” efforts, which is extremely disappointing to me…as a result, I am writing to advise you both that I am withdrawing from my engagement and association with the Republican Party at both the national and state level.”
Mitchell is the second member of Michigan’s congressional delegation to leave the Republican Party during the 117th Congress. U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (L) became an independent in July 2019 and joined the Libertarian Party in April.
Mitchell was first elected to represent Michigan’s 10th Congressional District in 2016. He did not run for re-election in 2020 and will retire from Congress at the end of his term. Republican Lisa McClain will represent the district once she is sworn into office in January.
With Mitchell’s departure from the Republican Party, the current partisan breakdown of the U.S. House of Representatives is 233 Democrats, 195 Republicans, one Libertarian, and one Independent, with five vacancies.