Former Congressman John Conyers resigned from the House Tuesday amid sexual harassment allegations while also endorsing his son John Conyers III to succeed him in a bid to preserve his decades-long political legacy.
But the younger Conyers, a partner with a Detroit minority-run hedge fund, has not yet decided if he will follow in his father’s footstep, saying that he will need “time to thoroughly listen to the community.”
“It is also an honor that my father endorses me for his Congressional seat,” he said in a statement released via social media. “I am quite grateful for the outpouring of support that we have received before and following the endorsement. During the next few weeks, I want to hear from the people of Detroit and our civic leaders who are engineering one of the greatest comeback stories of Urban America.”
He added: “I have not concluded if I will be a candidate but hope to come to a decision by the new year — once I have taken the time to thoroughly listen to the community.”
Despite around a half dozen women having accused him of sexual harassment, the older Conyers seems determined to see his son succeed him.
“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now,” the former congressman called into Detroit’s Mildred Gaddis’ radio show Tuesday from a hospital. “This too shall pass.”
Despite not having thrown his hat in the ring, news of Conyers III’s involvement in an apparent domestic violence incident with his girlfriend last February has re-emerged. According to the LA County District Attorney’s Office, the younger Conyers was in a fight with his ex-girlfriend that ended with her sustaining a stab wound to her arm that required stitches, CNN reports. However, prosecutors declined to bring charges, concluding that “a misdemeanor domestic battery could not be proven.”
“I did not stab her. That’s absolutely false. I’m not a violent person; that is not me,” Conyers III told CNN. “There was a verbal altercation and it escalated. I didn’t try to go grab a knife or do anything with a knife.”
If he does run, Conyers III will face competition from another family member, according to ABC News. As the grand-nephew older Conyers, Michigan state Sen. Ian Conyers announced his bid to run for the office. Another name in the mix of possible candidates is Coleman Young II, the son of Detroit’s first Black mayor, Coleman Young.