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Michigan Republican announces he won't seek re-election

In this Aug. 5, 2014 file photo, Republican David Trott, a candidate for Michigan's 11th congressional district, stands next to his wife, Kappy, during an interview at his election night party in Troy, Mich. In a statement Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, Rep. Dave Trott, R-Mich., says he will not seek re-election. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican Rep. Dave Trott of Michigan said Monday he will not run for re-election, marking the third Republican congressman in less than a week to announce his retirement.

The second-term congressman's departure could give Democrats a better shot at winning his Republican-leaning district, which includes parts of suburban Detroit.

Trott expressed frustration with President Donald Trump in August, after Trump declared "both sides" were to blame for violence during a white supremacist rally in Virginia. Trott tweeted the next day: "I think America needs more unity and less divisiveness ... meaning @realDonaldTrump should focus more on golf & have less press conferences."

Trott, 56, didn't touch on those frustrations in his Monday statement announcing his retirement.

"This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I have decided that the best course for me is to spend more time with my family and return to the private sector," the attorney said. "Over the next 16 months, I plan to continue serving the people I represent, working hard to advance real solutions for the American people, and to continue providing top-notch constituent service."

Reps. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Dave Reichert of Washington state said last week that they, too, would step down at the end of their terms.

Trott won his congressional seat in 2014, by defeating freshman Republican Kerry Bentivolio during the primary election. Trott spent millions of dollars of his own money on the race, and secured backing from business groups and others in the Republican establishment.

Bentivolio, labeled an "accidental" congressman, won the seat in 2012 after the Republican incumbent was knocked off the ballot due to fraudulent petition signatures.

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