CLEARING THE FIELD
We’ve always heard about back room deals. If we’re to believe the folks at Politico – and there’s no reason to not – Democratic leaders helped clear the field of high-profile primary competitors to Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) in her quest to become Michigan’s next Democratic senatorial candidate. Where at first it looked like several state Democratic lawmakers were going to throw their hat in the ring to fill retiring Senator Debbie Stabenow’s shoes, according to Politico, Stabenow herself, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) worked to convey that Slotkin was the one. “Stabenow explained that she directed other ambitious Democrats who might have been interested in replacing her toward alternative statewide offices, from the governor’s office on down, that will open up in 2026 due to term limits.” The two Democratic leaders let potential candidates know that Slotkin is a major fundraising force, and it would hurt her – and the party – if she’s forced to spend big in the primary, rather than saving it for the general election. While many Dems (and Republicans) believe Slotkin will be the one to beat in November 2024, as she is a moderate who considers herself a “common sense Democrat” with a CIA and military background, there are some voicing concerns that she has never represented a district with a significant Black constituency. And her voting record has at times diverged from Black Michiganders’ priorities. Of note, while she voted yes, she was not one of the 114 Democratic sponsors of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021, to repair how Blacks were disproportionately targeted prior to marijuana legalization. Yet, since launching her Senate campaign, she has been visible at numerous events in Detroit and Flint – which together represent a majority of African Americans in the state.