Another Democratic Senator is announcing that they would rather retire than run for re-election in 2014 and this time it’s seven-term Michigan Senator Carl Levin. Levin, who has served Michigan since 1979, issued this statement upon announcing his retirement.
This decision was extremely difficult because I love representing the people of Michigan in the U.S. Senate and fighting for the things that I believe are important to them.
As Barbara and I struggled with the question of whether I should run again, we focused on our belief that our country is at a crossroads that will determine our economic health and security for decades to come. We decided that I can best serve my state and nation by concentrating in the next two years on the challenging issues before us that I am in a position to help address; in other words, by doing my job without the distraction of campaigning for re-election.
Immediately speculation rests on who will seek this seat and one would have to think the Democratic nomination is Rep. Gary Peters’s for the taking. If Peters elects not to (or even if he does) run you can also expect speculation to surround former Rep. Mark Schauer and Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer.
As DailyKos accurately states, Democrats should be considered the favorite to retain this seat given Michigan’s blue hue and the unpopularity the state Republican Party has; I feel more confident about this seat as I do about others (West Virginia for starters).
The Republicans do have some bench here and after the disastrous campaign of Rep. Pete Hoekstra, they are certainly looking for fresh blood. State Sen. Roger Kahn would likely throw his hat in the ring but the Democrats best shot would be Rep. Justin Amash, the young Representative who is of the Ron Paul variety. Amash would likely be able to raise plenty of money with the Paulite “moneybombs” that partly made libertarian Republicans such as Rand Paul into elected officials.
But the race is now wide open and has officially begun.