Paul Mitchell (politician)

Paul Mitchell III (November 14, 1956 – August 15, 2021) was an American businessman and politician from the state of Michigan who served as a U.S. Representative for Michigan's 10th congressional district. He was first elected in 2016. In July 2019, Mitchell announced that he would not run for re-election in 2020 over health issues. While serving, he was a member of the Republican Party until he left the party in December 2020, when he announced he was becoming an independent.[2]

Paul Mitchell
Paul Mitchell official congressional photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 10th district
In office
January 3, 2017 – January 3, 2021
Preceded byCandice Miller
Succeeded byLisa McClain
Personal details
Born(1956-11-14)November 14, 1956
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedAugust 15, 2021(2021-08-15) (aged 64)
Dryden Township, Michigan, U.S.[1]
Political partyRepublican (until 2020)
Independent (2020–2021)
Sherry Mitchell
(m. 2008)
EducationMichigan State University (BA)

Early life, family and educationEdit

Mitchell was born in Boston, Massachusetts. The oldest of six children, he was raised in Waterford Township, Michigan.

Mitchell graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor's degree in 1978.[3]

Career before politicsEdit

Paul Mitchell owned and operated Ross Medical Education Center.[4] He ran for the 32nd district seat in the Michigan State Senate in 2013 to succeed Roger Kahn,[5] but withdrew from the race.[6] He became the chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition of Michigan, a conservative nonprofit foundation.[7] Mitchell led a campaign opposed to Proposal 1, a ballot proposition proposing a tax plan for roads, on the May 2015 ballot.[8][9]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit

Mitchell ran for the United States House of Representatives in Michigan's 4th congressional district in 2014, losing the Republican Party primary election to John Moolenaar.[10] He moved to Michigan's 10th congressional district in 2015 to run for the House of Representatives in that district, following Candice Miller's decision not to run for reelection.[4][11][12] He won the primary, defeating Phil Pavlov and Alan Sanborn.[13] Mitchell won the general election, defeating Frank Accavitti.[14]

Mitchell assumed office on January 3, 2017. He was a member of the Republican Study Committee.[15] He voted in favor of the unsuccessful American Health Care Act of 2017, which would have repealed the Affordable Care Act and replaced it with another program.[16]

In July 2019, Mitchell announced he would not seek a third term in Congress, citing the "rhetoric and vitriol" of the federal government, a desire to spend more time with his family, and health issues.[17]

Shortly after a post on Twitter was sent by President Donald Trump on July 14, telling four female, minority, first-term congressional representatives to "go back" to their countries of origin, Mitchell called a fellow House GOP leader and asked him to persuade Trump to cease his rhetoric.[18] Mitchell said, "It's the wrong thing for a leader to say", and he told the leader, "It's politically damaging to the party, to the country."[19] A few days later, while Mitchell waited to go on to a prime-time television network appearance, he saw a clip of Trump rally attendees chanting, "send her back," aimed at one of the congresswomen, Ilhan Omar.[19] Mitchell asked an aide, "How do I even respond to this on TV?" For Mitchell, the final straw was the refusal of Trump staffers to listen.[19] Mitchell begged Vice President Mike Pence, and the Vice President's Chief of Staff Marc Short to arrange a one-on-one conversation between Mitchell and Trump to address his misgivings.[18]

On November 29, 2020, Mitchell tweeted a response to a tweet by Trump claiming rigged elections: "Oh my God. . @realDonaldTrump Please for the sake of our Nation please drop these arguments without evidence or factual basis. #stopthestupid".[20] The hashtag is a reference to "stop the steal", a slogan used by Trump supporters who claimed that the election had been stolen from Trump.[21]

On December 14, 2020, during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, Mitchell announced he would no longer continue as a member of the Republican Party and would serve out the rest of his term in Congress as an independent.[22]

Committee assignmentsEdit

Personal life and deathEdit

Mitchell moved to Saginaw County, Michigan, when he married his wife, Sherry Mitchell, in 2008. A longtime resident of Thomas Township, near Saginaw,[26] he purchased a home in Dryden Township to run for the 10th district seat in Congress.

In June 2021, Mitchell announced he had been diagnosed with stage 4 renal cancer and underwent surgery to remove a mass and blood clot near his heart.[27] He died on August 15, 2021, aged 64.[28][29]

Electoral historyEdit

2014 Michigan's 4th congressional district Republican primary[30]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Moolenaar 34,399 52.4
Republican Paul Mitchell 23,844 36.3
Republican Peter Konetchy 7,408 11.3
Majority 10,555 16.1
2016 Michigan's 10th congressional district Republican primary[31]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Mitchell 30,114 38.0
Republican Phillip Pavlov 22,018 27.8
Republican Alan Sanborn 12,640 15.9
Republican Tony Forlini 7,888 9.9
Republican David VanAssche 6,690 8.4
Majority 8,096 10.2
2016 Michigan's 10th congressional district election[32]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Paul Mitchell 215,132 63.1 -5.6
Democratic Frank Accavitti Jr. 110,112 32.3 +2.9
Libertarian Lisa Lane Gioia 10,612 3.1 +3.1
Green Benjamin Nofs 5,127 1.5 -0.5
Majority 105,120 30.8 -8.5
Turnout 340,983 +49.1
Republican hold
2018 Michigan's 10th congressional district election[33]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Paul Mitchell (incumbent) 182,808 60.3 -2.8
Democratic Kimberly Bizon 106,061 35.0 +2.7
Independent Jeremy Peruski 11,344 3.7
Green Harley Mikkelson 2,851 0.9 -0.6
Majority 76,747 25.3 -5.5
Turnout 303,064 -11.1
Republican hold

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Ex-Michigan congressman who quit GOP over Trump claim dies". outlookindia. Retrieved August 17, 2021.[failed verification]
  2. ^ "READ: Rep. Paul Mitchell's letter quitting the GOP, fearing 'long-term harm to our democracy' with its support for Trump's actions". CNN. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  3. ^ "Michigan State University 1978 Spring Term Commencement" (PDF). Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Nann Burke, Melissa; Livengood, Chad (July 13, 2015). "Millionaire Mitchell joins race for Rep. Miller's seat". Detroit News. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  5. ^ "Saginaw County businessman Paul Mitchell to run for Sen. Roger Kahn's seat". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  6. ^ "Saginaw County businessman Paul Mitchell drops out of 32nd State Senate District race". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  7. ^ Tower, Mark (September 18, 2014). "After millions spent in unsuccessful bid for Congress, Paul Mitchell named chairman of conservative nonprofit". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  8. ^ Egan, Paul; Gray, Kathleen (May 6, 2015). "Michigan voters soundly reject Proposal 1 road tax plan". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  9. ^ Oosting, Jonathan (July 13, 2015). "Paul Mitchell, businessman who fought Michigan roads Proposal 1, making second run for Congress". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  10. ^ "Sen. John Moolenaar defeats Paul Mitchell in 4th District congressional Republican primary race". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  11. ^ "Businessman Mitchell enters race to replace Miller". Detroit Free Press. July 13, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  12. ^ Tower, Mark (February 9, 2016). "Paul Mitchell to seek Candice Miller's seat in Congress". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  13. ^ Gibbons, Lauren (August 3, 2016). "Paul Mitchell wins 10th Congressional Republican primary, and other U.S. House results". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  14. ^ Lesniewski, Niels; Lesniewski, Niels (November 9, 2016). "Republican Paul Mitchell Elected in Michigan's 10th District". Roll Call. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  15. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  16. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 256". Clerk of the House of Representatives. 2017.
  17. ^ Spangler, Todd (July 24, 2019). "Rep. Paul Mitchell won't run again, complains of 'rhetoric and vitriol' in Washington". Detroit Free Press.
  18. ^ a b Bade, Rachael (September 22, 2019). "Trump's takeover of GOP forces many House Republicans to head for the exits". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved December 14, 2020.[1], Washington Post, September 22, 2019. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  19. ^ a b c "Rep. Paul Mitchell quits Republican Party". The County Press. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  20. ^ Paul Mitchell [@reppaulmitchell] (November 29, 2020). "" (Tweet). Retrieved November 30, 2020 – via Twitter.
  21. ^ "Running on 'Stop the Steal,' the GOP goes all in on presidential sedevacantism". Religion News. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  22. ^ Tapper, Jake (December 14, 2020). "Congressman cites Trump's efforts to overturn election in announcing decision to quit GOP". CNN. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  23. ^ "McClain will serve on armed services subcommittees". Michigans Thumbs. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  24. ^ a b "Congressman Paul Mitchell returns to Armed Services, Transportation Committees". NBC News. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  25. ^ "Paul Mitchell". Republicans Oversight. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  26. ^ "Saginaw County businessman Paul Mitchell enters race for Congressman Dave Camp's seat". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  27. ^ "Former Rep. Paul Mitchell announces renal cancer diagnosis". Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  28. ^ Egan, Paul (August 16, 2021). "Paul Mitchell, ex-Michigan congressman, dies at 64 after battle with cancer". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  29. ^ LeBlanc, Paul. "Former Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell dies at 64 after cancer battle". CNN. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  30. ^ "2014 Michigan Election Results". Michigan Department of State. September 28, 2016. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  31. ^ "2016 Michigan Election Results". Michigan Department of State. September 28, 2016. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  32. ^ "2016 Michigan Election Results". Michigan Department of State. September 28, 2016. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  33. ^ "2018 Michigan Election Results". Michigan Department of State. November 28, 2018. Retrieved July 24, 2019.

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 10th congressional district

Succeeded by