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One of Michigan’s U.S. Senate seats is up for grabs in ’24. Who wants to sit in it?

(Photo supplied/Pixabay.com)

US Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan has announced that she’s not seeking reelection this year. So, who’s interested in her seat?

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat from Central Michigan, announced her run for the seat on Monday on YouTube. Also, Democrat Nasser Beydoun has turned in over 24,000 signatures. He’s the former CEO of the Wataniya Restaurants group, based in Qatar, and executive director of the Arab American Chamber of Commerce.

Stabenow, who is 72, has served in the Senate as a Democrat since 2001. Her seat is a key race in the election, with the Democrats having a slim 51-49 majority in the chamber.

According to Bridge Michigan, the race looks like it could widen, but a number of rumored candidates say they are not interested.

Mulling a run:

  • Former U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, Democrat, told The Washington Post she is searching for a “strong, African American to run” and will run herself if she doesn’t find one
  • Lawrence represented Detroit, Southfield and other cities in Oakland and Wayne counties in Congress from 2015 and 2023. She was the first Black woman to serve as mayor of Southfield in 2001.
  • Former state Rep. Leslie Love, Democrat, told the Michigan Advance she is interested. Love is a former state representative from Detroit who was first elected to the House in 2014. After leaving the Legislature, Love was named group director of government affairs at the Piston Group, an automotive supplier founded by former Detroit Pistons player Vinnie Johnson, Crains Detroit reported.
  • State Sen. Ruth Johnson, Republican, told The Detroit News she is considering a bid. Johnson is a Republican from Groveland Township. She is serving her second term in the state Senate and previously served six years in the House. She was Michigan’s secretary of state from 2011 to 2018 and previously served as Oakland County clerk and on the county’s Board of Commissioners.
  • Hill Harper, a Democratic actor and activist, has said he is seriously considering a run. Harper is known for his roles on “The Good Doctor” and “CSI: NY.” He is a cancer survivor who was appointed by former President Barack Obama onto the President’s Cancer Panel in 2011 and served in that role until 2018. He also served several U.S. State Department diplomatic and goodwill missions to Israel, Turkey and Italy,

Not interested:

  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Democrat. She is serving her second four-year term after winning re-election last year. A spokesperson for the governor told NBC News Whitmer won’t seek the seat.
  • U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, Democrat. Stevens, a U.S. representative from Oakland County, said in a Jan. 30 tweet that “after deep consideration, I have decided that I can best serve Michigan’s working families, manufacturers, students, and small businesses in my current role,” she said.
  • U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Democrat. The new Traverse City resident and former presidential candidate told CNN he plans to vote in that election and dismissed the possibility of running for Senate.
  • State Sen. Mallory McMorrow, Democrat. The state senator from Royal Oak rose to fame when one of her speeches to the Legislature went viral. On Friday, McMorrow announced “I’ll be focusing all of my attention on serving in the Michigan state Senate as the Michigan Senate Majority Whip” and declined to run for U.S. Senate in 2024.
  • U.S. Rep. John James, Republican. The freshman U.S. representative from Macomb County has filed for re-election in 2024, according to news reports Friday. “The plainest way I can put it is that I’m committed to the district,” the Farmington Hills resident told Kaitlyn Buss of Detroit News.
  • Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Democrat. Gilchrist had said he was mulling a run, but on Sunday tweeted that he and Whitmer have “more work to do. I look forward to working with our next US Senator to get it done.”
  • Former Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Republican. The former lieutenant governor and leader of the Small Business Association of Michigan announced last month he won’t seek the seat, The Michigan Advance reported. “There’s a 0.0 percent chance that I will even entertain running – for any office, actually, but especially one in Washington, D.C.,” Calley said.

Political experts have speculated other candidates could include Barrett, the former congressional candidate, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, but none has confirmed a run or ruled out the possibility.

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