Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell misses State of the Union, stays home with husband John

Dingell asks for 'prayers and privacy'

DETROIT – Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell did not attend the President's State of the Union address Tuesday night and instead is at home with her husband, former congressman John Dingell.

Rep. Dingell tweeted Wednesday morning that she is asking for "prayers and privacy during this difficult time" as she and John have "entered a new phase."

UPDATE: Former Michigan Rep. John Dingell in hospice care

"Friends and colleagues know me and know I would be in Washington right now unless something was up," she tweeted. "I am home with John and we have entered a new phase. He is my love and we have been a team for nearly 40 years. I will be taking each day as it comes. We thank people for their friendship and support and ask for prayers and privacy during this difficult time."

John Dingell, 92, was temporarily hospitalized in September after suffering a heart attack.

After nearly 60 years of service, John Dingell retired in 2014. He was first elected to the House in 1955, filling the seat vacated by his late father. Dubbed "Big John" for his imposing 6-foot-3 frame and sometimes intimidating manner, a reputation bolstered by the wild game heads decorating his Washington office, Dingell served with every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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Congressman John D. Dingell

He also was known as a dogged pursuer of government waste and fraud, helping take down two top presidential aides while chairman of a powerful investigative panel.

His wife Debbie now represents Michigan's 12th Congressional District, the seat her husband once held. She has held the seat since 2015. John's father, John Dingell Sr., held Michigan's 12th district for 22 years before his son won it. Overall, the Dingells have represented this district -- as it is drawn now and iterations of it before -- for 86 consecutive years.

Last year, Local 4's Devin Scillian sat down with John Dingell for a discussion about current political climate with -- watch here:

John Dingell moves witty political observations to Twitter after historic congressional tenure -- watch here:

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.