DETROIT -

Debbie Dingell will seek the House seat currently held by her husband, John Dingell, who has announced plans to retire after the longest congressional career in history.

Rep. John Dingell, who played a key role in some of the biggest liberal legislative victories of the past 60 years, said Monday he would not seek re-election for a 30th full term.

"I don't want people to be sorry for me. ... I don't want to be going out feet-first and I don't want to do less than an adequate job," said the 87-year-old John Dingell, who cut a physically imposing figure in his prime but now uses a cane or motorized cart to get around the Capitol.

Debbie and John Dingell

Read: Full statement from John Dingell on retirement

The Michigan Democrat was first elected to his late father's seat in 1955 -- and has held it ever since.

Debbie Dingell was at her husband's side when he made the announcement. John had fueled speculation that his 60-year-old wife might run for his seat, saying she would have his vote if she does.

She has repeatedly deflected questions about whether she would run, saying she would only talk about her husband.