Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI) to Retire

FOX has learned that that Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI) will retire at this end of this term.

He’s scheduled a press conference later today in Grand Rapids, MI.

The 76-year-old Ehlers is the only nuclear physicist serving in Congress. He formerly chaired the House Administration Committee, taking the reins from former Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) when he was beset by an ethics scandal.

Ehlers formerly taught at physics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned his undergraduate degree. He later became the chairman of the Physics Department at Calvin College in Michigan.

Ehlers won a special election to Congress in 1993, succeeding the late Rep. Paul Henry (R-MI), who died after a bout with brain cancer. Ehlers and Henry served on the faculty together at Calvin.

Ehlers becomes the 17th House Republican to announce they will not seek reelection in the fall. He’s the second Michigan Republican to retire, joining Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), who is running for governor. Only 11 House Democrats have thrown in the towel for another term.

Earlier this week, Michigan state Representative Justin Amash (R) announced he would challenge Ehlers in the primary.