Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) announced Monday she would run for Senate in 2024 to replace the retiring Democrat Debbie Stabenow — becoming the first big name to jump in the closely-watched race.
In a video posted to Twitter that focused on her Michigan roots, the third-term congresswoman and former CIA analyst said that she was seeking higher office on a platform of defending America’s middle class and backing American-made products, while signaling openness to further firearms restrictions following this month’s deadly shooting on the campus of Michigan State University.
“We need a new generation of leaders that thinks differently, works harder, and never forgets that we are public servants,” she said.
Slotkin, 46, launched her campaign in the battleground state after several potential Democratic contenders — including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg — opted not to run. She floated the announcement last month after Stabenow, 72, announced her own departure.
The Michigan seat is one of 20 that Democrats are fighting to defend during a tough 2024 cycle, along with three additional seats held by independent Sens. Angus King of Maine, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — each of whom caucus with the Democrats.
A handful of other top Democratic officials — including Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, state Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, state Attorney General Dana Nessel, and state Sen. Mallory McMorrow — have also weighed entering the race, according to reports.
Slotkin’s announcement came days after Rep. John James, considered by many to be a rising GOP star, opted against another Senate run after narrowly losing in 2018 and 2020 to Stabenow and Sen. Gary Peters, respectively.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee slammed Slotkin Monday as “a liberal politician with some serious ethical baggage.”
Earlier this month, Slotkin announced she was divorcing her husband of 12 years after reportedly moving into a home owned by a lobbyist and campaign donor in order to run for re-election to the House in a different district.
Slotkin burnished her moderate credentials in her video campaign announcement, a nod to an electorate that voted for former President Donald Trump in 2016 before flipping to back President Biden in 2020.
“For me, Michigan is where it all started,” she said, before highlighting her federal service in the CIA “under two presidents: one Republican and one Democrat” during the Bush and Obama administrations.
She also noted her family’s legacy as the creator of Ball Park brand hot dogs.
“I’m a third-generation Michigander, and my family has lived the American Dream,” Slotkin said. “My great-grandfather came through Ellis Island, started a family meat company, moved it to Michigan, and built that company into a Michigan icon, producing the Ball Park frank that Michiganders have enjoyed for 60 years.”
Slotkin is one of several Democrats who has taken a dim view of Biden seeking reelection in 2024, telling NBC’s “Meet the Press” in October that she was in favor of “new blood, period, across the Democratic Party.” — though she also said that she would support the commander-in-chief anyway.
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