LINE ‘EM UP
The announcement in early January by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) that “Inspired by a new generation of leaders, I have decided to pass the torch in the U.S. Senate,” and not run for re-election in 2024 set off a cavalcade of potential names rushing to the doors to replace her. Stabenow, of Lansing, is the number three Democrat in Senate leadership – so those shoes will be large ones to fill. She has quietly gone about her role in the last five decades (she was first elected in 1974 to the Ingham County Commission, before running for the state legislature), one step at a time, while also raising a mountain of money. While no one, on either side of the aisle, has announced they were throwing their hat in the ring quite yet, this seat is the Democrats to lose – and the Republicans will be going after it fast and furiously, looking to flip a Senatorial seat. The National Republican Senate Committee’s Deputy Communications Director Mike Berg told Punchbowl, “We are going to aggressively target this seat in 2024. This could be the first of many Senate Democrats who decide to retire rather than lose.” Word is that Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) is taking a serious look at running in this race, as is Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, most of Oakland County). They both know how to raise money nationwide – Slotkin raised $9 million in her 2022 House bid, and is sitting on $181,000; Stevens raised $5.5 million, and has $21,000 cash-on-hand. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Ann Arbor) is another name that has been tossed around, and is said to be seriously considering it. As wife of the late Rep. John Dingell and former president of General Motors Foundation and head of government relations at GM, she is the definition of clout. Hot-hot-hot state rising star Mallory McMorrow, state Senator for Birmingham, Royal Oak and Detroit, who raised over $2 million this cycle to help other Democrats and worked to flip the state Senate blue, will likely get a look-see, as could Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who not only gained national attention in her role administering Michigan’s 2020 election, but recently was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for that work by President Joe Biden. Benson raised $5.3 million for her 2022 re-election and has just under $600,000 cash-on-hand. Governor Gretchen Whitmer and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, newly of Traverse City, stated they weren’t interested in the position – but in politics, nothing in certain ‘til they determine the final results.