Former Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell, who resigned from the Republican Party last year after former President Donald Trump refused to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election, has died from renal cancer at the age of 64.
Mitchell’s wife, Sherry Mitchell, announced the former congressman’s passing on Monday.
“I am immensely proud of him and never more so than when he was the lone voice in a sea of politicians who cared more about power than the true definition of the office. When he remained the lone voice and ignored the threats from those claiming to be his friends,” Sherry Mitchell wrote in a statement, according to The Hill. “Paul stood up for what matters most, it had nothing to do with political ideology and everything to do with keeping our humanity. For everyone.”
She added, “Paul was an American. He was the embodiment of what we can be if we choose to love and fight for what matters.”
Former Virginia Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman, who described Mitchell as a “true friend,” told Politico that the late congressman had been “isolated” from many of his peers after leaving the Republican Party.
“He's been a friend through thick and thin, and his own courage in trying to confront some of the things in the party that had gone sideways ... I think it just shows what kind of public servant he was,” Riggleman said.
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., the dean of the state’s congressional delegation, said on Twitter that “Paul was a trooper to the very end. He was always ready to fight on principle and was never afraid of the politics. As a valuable member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, he had grown very tired of the gridlock in Washington and always wanted to make a difference and that is what he did. Paul left Congress seeking more quality time with his family and I am so sad for all of them to see his life cut short.”
Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., said on Twitter, “My heart is heavy with the passing of Paul Mitchell, who we lost way too soon and way too fast. Paul was one of my first friends in Congress and was an incredibly decent and compassionate person.”
Mitchell announced last December in a letter to House GOP leadership that he was leaving the party to become an independent following Trump’s reaction to the election.
"It is unacceptable for political candidates to treat our election system as though we are a third-world nation and incite distrust of something so basic as the sanctity of our vote," Mitchell said. "Further, it is unacceptable for the president to attack the Supreme Court of the United States because its judges, both liberal and conservative, did not rule with his side or that 'the Court failed him.'”
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