Rep. Thad McCotter abruptly resigns from House

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) (C) calls on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to schedule a vote on energy legislation during a news conference with Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) (L) and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) at the U.S. Capitol August 19, 2008 in Washington, DC. This is the third week of Republican protest against the House recessing without dealing with high gas prices. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

(CBS/AP) Rep. Thad McCotter, R-Mich., abruptly resigned from the House of Representatives Friday, citing a "nightmarish month and a half" which was the result of McCotter failing to qualify for re-election.

"After nearly 26 years in elected office, this past nightmarish month and a half have, for the first time, severed the necessary harmony between the needs of my constituency and of my family," McCotter said in a statement. "As this harmony is required to serve, its absence requires I leave."

He continued: "The recent event's totality of calumnies, indignities and deceits have weighed most heavily upon my family. Thus, acutely aware one cannot rebuild their hearth of home amongst the ruins of their U.S. House office, for the sake of my loved ones I must 'strike another match, go start anew' by embracing the promotion back from public servant to sovereign citizen."

The Michigan attorney general has launched an investigation into why more than 80 percent of the signatures on McCotter's nominating petitions were invalid -- with many apparently photocopied from other petitions. The problem developed after the five-term congressman gave up his little-noticed campaign for president and entrusted his staff to prepare his re-election paperwork.

He had announced last month that he would not run as a write-in candidate and would serve out his term.

"I do not leave for an existing job and face diminishing prospects (and am both unwilling and ill-suited to lobby), my priorities are twofold: find gainful employment to help provide for my family; and continue to assist, in any way they see fit, the Michigan Attorney General's earnest and thorough investigation, which I requested, into the 2012 petition filing," McCotter said.

In addition to his legal woes, it was reported Thursday that McCotter circulated an idea for a TV show to at least one filmmaker and shared the script with some staffers.

The Detroit News reported that the "Bumper Sticker: Made On Motown" pilot featured McCotter hosting a variety show cast with characters bearing the nicknames of congressional staffers. The newspaper says they take pot shots about McCotter's little-noticed White House campaign.

The News said it obtained a copy of the script from a former staffer.

McCotter says the work was unfinished and described it as a "cathartic" creative outlet. He says he didn't write the show on the taxpayers' time.

It's unclear whether the Michigan Secretary of State will call for a special election to fill McCotter's seat through the end of his term in January or whether it will remain vacant.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • Steve Chaggaris

    Steve Chaggaris is CBS News' senior political editor.