DRYDEN, Mich. - Former U.S. Congressman Paul Mitchell, who held Michigan's 10th District seat in the U.S. House, died following a battle with cancer.
Mitchell, who was 64 at the time of his passing, served two terms in Congress before declining to run in 2020 and left the Republican party shortly after.
In a statement first issued to CNN, Mitchell's wife Sherry said "Paul was an American. he was the embodiment of what we can be if we choose to love and fight for what matters."
"Paul loved with reckless abandon and would fiercely protect others whether they were family or strangers. You were worthy and loved and part of his flock," she said.
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 15: Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Mich., walks down the House steps after final votes of the week in the Capitol on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Sherry also said Paul's last wish was to prepare the country's children to "make informed decisions" about the future.
He had previously said he was diagnosed with stage IV renal cancer.
Prior to serving in Congress in 2017 and 2019, Mitchell was also a figure in the business community. But he also made splashes well after announcing he had no plans to run for future public office. That includes quitting the GOP over its ties to Donald Trump and its efforts to overturn the election.
In a statement to FOX 2, Rep. Lisa McClain who now sits in Mitchell's former seat, "Today we mourn the passing of former Rep. Paul Mitchell, who was an advocate for improving Michigan’s 10th Congressional District during his time in office. My thoughts and prayers are with Paul’s wife Sherry and the entire Mitchell family."
"Rep. Paul Mitchell was a class act and stood up for what he believed in," said 12th District Rep. Debbie Dingell. "He was a close friend and colleague of mine, always willing to listen, even when we disagreed. Until the very end, Paul kept a smile on his face and humor in his words, just like John Dingell. My heart is with his wife, Sherry, and their children."