John Conyers III involved in violent incident, may not want his dad's seat
Posted December 6, 2017 8:15 p.m. EST
(CNN) — John Conyers III -- who was endorsed by his father, former Rep. John Conyers, to fill his now-empty House seat -- was reportedly involved in an incident that resulted in his girlfriend sustaining a stab wound.
"The DA dismissed the charges, but it's something that causes me a lot of anguish and now it's associated with me," Conyers III told CNN. "I know what happened, and I know I'm innocent. "
The report from the LA County District Attorney's Office concludes that "a misdemeanor domestic battery could not be proven" but shows Conyers III was in a fight with his girlfriend last February that ended with her sustaining a stab wound to her arm that required stitches. The incident was first reported by The New York Times.
Conyers III denies having stabbed his then-girlfriend, telling CNN that she pulled the knife on him, there was a struggle and she ended up cutting herself.
"I did not stab her. That's absolutely false. I'm not a violent person; that is not me," Conyers III said. "There was a verbal altercation and it escalated. I didn't try to go grab a knife or do anything with a knife."
His father stepped down from his House seat on Tuesday amid allegations of sexual harassment, and endorsed Conyers III to replace him during his announcement. The Michigan Democrat was the first member of Congress to announce his retirement amid a national conversation surrounding workplace harassment. He has denied the allegations.
Conyers III said he was "caught off-guard" by his father's endorsement.
"I appreciate his endorsement," he said. "I was caught off-guard. I'm not saying I don't want it. He endorsed me, and he didn't have to do it. I was surprised in the manner in which he did it because I haven't made up my mind about what I plan to do."
Conyers III didn't give a timetable on when he would decide whether to run.
"I'm not married to the idea of running for office. I haven't decided to run. When I get back to Detroit I will take time to weigh my options," he said.
To replace Conyers, Republican Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder must call a special election.
Additionally, Ian Conyers, the grandson of Conyers' brother and a state senator, told The New York Times in an interview that he intended to run for the seat.