Former Flint Congressman Dale Kildee dies at 92

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FLINT, Mich. (WLNS) – Dale Kildee, a former U.S. Congressman that represented the Flint area for 36 years has died at 92, reports 6 News media partner Mlive.com

The Democratic Representative had the sixth-highest seniority in the House of Representatives when he retired 10 years ago. He was a former Flint schoolteacher before entering politics.

Kildee was first elected to the Michigan State House in 1964 and then Congress in 1976. He was reelected 17 times in a row.

Multiple state lawmakers have released statements regarding Kildee’s passing. Among those lawmakers include Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, Congressman John Moolenmar and others.

Congressman Dale Kildee was a tireless public servant and proud Michigander. He served his community in the state legislature for over a decade and in the U.S. House of Representatives for 35 years, where he advocated fiercely for the automotive industry and workers, led successful efforts to reform education, and expanded access to financial aid for college. Dale started the Native American Caucus in Congress and admirably represented Mid-Michigan during his time in office, uplifting local families, communities, and small businesses. He served students in the classroom, his community in the state capitol, and constituents in DC—where he rarely missed a vote in 35 years. A lifelong Michigander, his passion for working people was clear in the work he did every day. He made our state and country a better place. My thoughts are with his family, including his nephew, Congressman Dan Kildee who succeeded his uncle in the U.S. House of Representatives. Dale, we miss you.” 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

“Dale Kildee was truly one-of-a-kind. For 18 terms, he brought a certain Flint brand of leadership, humility and humanity to the halls of Congress. He will be remembered as a guardian of our auto industry, a dedicated educator and an advocate for Michigan’s Native American communities. Dale was one of my early political heroes who later became a valued mentor and friend. Andrea and I send our love to everyone in the big Kildee family, and we hope they find peace knowing that he brought so much good to our community, state and country.”

Michigan Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint)

Today, I mourn the loss of former Congressman Dale Kildee. He dedicated his life to public service and he worked hard for our state. He was respected by Republicans and Democrats alike, and he will be well-remembered by those who knew him. My prayers today are with my colleague Dan Kildee and the entire Kildee family as they mourn Dale’s passing and celebrate his life,” said Congressman John Moolenaar. 

Congressman John Moolenaar

“Dale was as good a person as he was an effective elected official. His leadership will be missed, but all of those he encouraged to get involved in politics will continue to do the important work which he dedicated his life to.”

State Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint)

Dale Kildee was a true public servant who genuinely cared about his constituents. His legacy can be seen in the lives of all the people he helped, whether through his work in Washington or when walking the neighborhoods of the communities he represented. I will always remember the values he espoused whenever I saw him speak: a fundamental respect for human dignity. I will miss Dale and I hope we will continue his legacy.”

State Rep. John Cherry (D-Flint)

I have worked in politics for decades and there have been few people more talented than Dale Kildee. I am beyond thankful for the contributions he made to Genesee County and the mentorship he provided to so many who wanted to make a difference. His family should take pride in the fact that he made a difference in the lives of others every single day.” 

State Rep. Tim Sneller (D-Burton)

“I am heartbroken to hear the news of the passing of my dear friend, Dale Kildee. Dale and I served together in the U.S. House and I witnessed every day how much he loved working for the people of Michigan. He was a wonderful man—extremely kind, generous and committed to his home community of Flint and working men and women across Michigan. My heart goes out to his beloved wife Gayle and the entire Kildee family.”

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

“Congressman Dale Kildee was a champion for Michigan workers and families. Throughout his prestigious career in Congress, he never forgot where he came from: Flint, Michigan. Each and every day, he fought for our state’s autoworkers and so that everyone had an opportunity not just to get by – but to get ahead.

“I was honored to serve in the House with Congressman Dale Kildee, and I always appreciated his advice and guidance in public service. Colleen and I extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to his loving wife Gayle, my good friend Dan, and to the entire Kildee family.”

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI)

While in Congress, Kildee had a 99.9% voting attendance record, missing only 28 votes in his 32-year tenure, 17 of which were due to a hospital stay in 1985.

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