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Republican congressman says he won't run for reelection, citing divisive rhetoric

Rep. Paul Mitchell, a Republican from Michigan, announced on the House floor Wednesday that he would not seek re-election in 2020. The two-term congressman cited his desire to spend time with family and his exhaustion with "rhetoric" and "politics."

"A career in Washington has never been my objective. My objective has always been simply to work to address significant challenges this nation faces: health care, immigration, and infrastructure for example," Mitchell said. "However, it appears to me that rhetoric overwhelms policy, and politics consumes much of the oxygen in this city."

Quoting George Washington, Mitchell said: "I would rather be on my farm than emperor of the world."

Mitchell was one of the first Republican lawmakers to split with President Trump last week after the president's tweets telling four minority progressive congresswomen to "go back" to where they came from. Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticized Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar since his initial tweet.

The day after Mr. Trump's first tweet on the congresswomen, Mitchell responded: "We must be better than comments like these. I share the political frustrations with some members of the other party, but these comments are beneath leaders."

Mitchell represents Michigan's 10th Congressional District, which supported Mr. Trump by over 30 percentage points in 2016.

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