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Longest-serving United States congressman quits after sex harassment claims

Michigan congressman John Conyers accused of sexually harassing staffer and her cousin

Democratic Rep. John Conyers resigned from Congress on Tuesday after a almost 53-year career, becoming the first Capitol Hill politician to lose his job in the torrent of sexual misconduct allegations sweeping through the nation's workplaces.

He said he's endorsing his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress. Conyers faced calls to resign following reports that he reached a $27,000 settlement with a former aide who said she was sacked for rejecting his sexual advances.

Conyers, the longest-serving active member of the House, left Washington last Tuesday amid reports that some other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, which he co-founded, were urging him to resign to protect his legacy as a civil rights icon. Members of the Democratic leadership, including Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Jim Clyburn, one of the elder members of the Congressional Black Caucus, all called on Conyers to step down.

Word of Conyers' resignation was met with sadness among House Democrats, even though many had called on him to step down.

It will be up to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to set a date for a special election to pick someone to serve out the remaining year in Conyers' two-year term.

Conyers, who was first elected in 1964, easily won re-election a year ago in the heavily Democratic 13th District. More and more women began to speak out against Conyers. "He is going to retire, ' Conyers" great-nephew Ian, a MI state senator, told the New York Times, adding that he planned to run for the seat in Congress himself, suggesting Conyers would step down at the end of his term and won't seek reelection.

Conyers said in a statement read Tuesday on the floor of the House by Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee that he was resigning "to preserve my legacy and good name".

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Rep. John Conyers will not seek re-election after his current term.

Brown said she came forward because she wants "to be a voice", and so that her granddaughter would "not have to endure sexism and gender inequality".

"This is the first of several affidavits I will be releasing describing allegations that you sexually harassed staffers and covered up complaints", Bloom tweeted. Six years later, he became the top Democrat on Judiciary.

His accuser, former aide Marion Brown, recently told NBC's "Today" show that Conyers touched her inappropriately and invited her to a Chicago hotel room to discuss business before propositioning her for sex.

In April 1968, four days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Conyers introduced the first bill proposing a holiday in his honor.

"I think there should be a complete disclosure and revealing to all of the citizens of the country of what your federal legislators are doing or not doing and any cost that may have been incurred as a result of that", added Conyers.

The furor over Conyers unfolded as the sexual misconduct allegations against Franken and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore sent members of both parties rushing to choose sides.