In 2010, more than a few candidates told voters they wouldn't stay in Congress long if they were elected. With 2016 fast approaching, the first of those term-limit pledges are starting to come due, heralding the return of a long congressional tradition: reneging on term-limit pledges.
Rep. Dan Benishek, a third-term Republican from Michigan, announced Tuesday that he would seek reelection in 2016—even though when he first ran for Congress, he said he'd be retiring by next year. He made his move after dancing around the issues for weeks. "Right now, he is focused on veterans' issues," Benishek spokesman Philip Christofanelli told National Journal last week, "and any future political decisions will be made in due time."
Pressed to explain what decision had to be made, given Benishek's 2010 term-limit pledge, Christofanelli repeated the same statement. But on Tuesday, Benishek told a Michigan radio station he would try to stay in Congress. In a statement, Benishek said he "recognize[s] this conflicts with past statements I made when first running for office. "¦ I believe I bring a unique perspective to overcoming those challenges as well as others facing families throughout the 1st District, and my hope is voters will agree."