Retired United States Congressmen from the State of Michigan


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Conventional wisdom in the study of members of Congress, pioneered by Richard Fenno, argues that one of the chief goals of elected officials is their reelection. However, this theory does not account for those who willingly retire from Congress. Who are these former members and what activities do they pursue once they leave office? To answer the first question, this project analyzes data on retired members of Congress from the state of Michigan regarding the years they served, party identification, and their age of retirement. The second and perhaps more interesting question in this research, examines the post-congressional careers of former members of Congress and whether their new line of work has any connections with their time in Congress through committee assignments and issue advocacy. In addition to quantitative analysis of the attributes of former members and their post-congressional careers, a qualitative analysis is conducted through a comparative case study of retired Senator Donald Riegle and former Representative Mike Rogers. This aspect of the study more closely examines their respective career paths through congress and post-congressional vocations.



Political science, United States Congress, Members of Congress, United States, Michigan