Rep. Conyers announces he's retiring, endorses son to fill seat

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Conyers, 88, made the announcement in an interview with a Detroit radio station.

He said he's endorsing his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress. Conyers faced calls to resign following reports that he reached a $27,000 settlement with a former aide who said she was sacked for rejecting his sexual advances.

State Sen. Ian Conyers (D-Detroit), a great-nephew of the retiring Conyers, also has said he will seek to fill the seat.

He is endorsing his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress.

"Seattle's Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who served with Conyers on the House Judiciary Committee, demanded his resignation a week ago, saying there should be "'zero tolerance' for sexual harassment".

Ian Conyers, the grandson of Conyers's brother, plans to run for his seat, setting up an intra-family contest.

"I think an ethics investigation will vindicate him", said Charles Williams, with Solomon Baptist Church. Conyers has denied all the allegations, and on Tuesday, wrote the accusations off as "politics".

Since the allegations, both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Paul Ryan have called for Conyers to resign.

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The congressman, who took his MI seat in the House in 1965, has already stepped aside as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee amid swirling allegations of sexual improprieties.

"My legacy can't be compromised or diminished in any way by what we're going through now". Such behavior "was a regular part of life while working in the office of Rep. Conyers", she said. The committee's website lists Conyers still as a member.

Conyers, who was first elected in 1964, easily won re-election previous year in the heavily Democratic 13th District. "Why is it that John Conyers is the only individual to be denied due process?" Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct by nine women, several of whom were teenagers at the time, and one of whom was just 14.

His accuser, former aide Marion Brown, recently told NBC's "Today" show that Conyers touched her inappropriately and invited her to a Chicago hotel room to discuss business before propositioning her for sex.

The congressman "still enjoys healthy support in our district", he said. He added that he hopes his retirement will be viewed in the "larger perspective" of his more than 50 years as a lawmaker.

"Rep. Conyers slid his hand up my skirt and rubbed my thighs while I was sitting next to him in the front row of a church", Grubbs said. The issue had divided members of his party, especially those in the Congressional Black Caucus, and Pelosi, too, had struggled, calling Conyers an "icon" before pressing days later for him to go.

Conyers's decision to step aside comes as Congress struggles to explain its secretive process for investigating and settling claims about sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct.

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