Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) announced Saturday that he will retire from Congress rather than run in the upcoming GOP primary as a write-in candidate.

(Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)

His decision means heretofore-unknown candidate Kerry Bentivolio assumes the role of favorite in the race. Bentivolio is the only candidate who qualified for the ballot.

Former state senator Loren Bennett announced Friday that he would mount a write-in campaign of his own, complicating McCotter’s path to victory in the district.

McCotter’s swing district became a little safer under redistricting, but his retirement could open the door to Democrats in an open seat race.

His retirement comes months after he ended his longshot candidacy for president.

Here is the full statement from McCotter’s campaign:

“I have ended my write-in campaign in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District.

“One can’t clean up a mess multitasking. Honoring my promise to the sovereign people of our community only allows me to finish the official duties of my present Congressional term; and aid the State Attorney General criminal investigation that I requested into identifying the person or persons who concocted the fraudulent petitions that have cost me so dearly.

“Honoring this promise does not allow me to continue a political write-in campaign. This decision is final, regardless of how swiftly the investigation is concluded.

“To those who unhappy at this news, I’m sorry; to those happy at this news, you’re welcome.”