Former U.S. Representative Paul Mitchell (I–Mich.) He made headlines last year after leaving the Republican Party. He died on Sunday after a battle with cancer, his family said in a statement to CNN.
In June 2021, he told Detroit’s WJR radio that he had been diagnosed with renal cancer. He spoke about surviving a high-risk surgery to remove a blood clot near his heart, and he planned on start an immunotherapy regimen against cancer.
The news of his death was made public after his family issued a statement to CNN.
Although the public might remember him mostly for quitting the GOP, his loved ones remember him as a champion for American priorities.
“Paul was an American. He was the embodiment of what we can be if we choose to love and fight for what matters,” Mitchell’s wife, Sherry, told CNN.
“Paul loved with reckless abandon and would fiercely protect others whether they were family or strangers. You were worthy and loved and part of his flock.”
Mitchell spent most of his career in the private sector, as the owner of Ross Medical Education Center. Later he became chairman of the conservative nonprofit Faith and Freedom Coalition of Michigan, and in 2008 he was elected to the city council of St. Clair City, Michigan.
In 2016 he was elected to the U.S. House. He represented Michigan’s 10th district, which encompassed Dryden Township, his home in the Thumb region of Michigan. He served as vice chair of the aviation subcommittee.
In July 2019, he announced that he would not seek re-election, but he served the remainder of his second term.
He amassed a conservative voting record in Congress, and he ended his second and final term with a bang.
Three weeks before the end of his term, he changed his party affiliation to independent, in protest of former President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election.
Mitchell had previously criticized some of Trump’s public comments as being “beneath leaders.”
— Paul Mitchell (@RepPaulMitchell) July 15, 2019
He is survived by his wife, Sherry, and their six children.
The Horn editorial team