(NRSC News) – A key member of leadership within the Democratic Party, Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, announced on Thursday that she would not be seeking a fifth term in 2024, which comes as quite a surprise as her absence will open up a seat in a key battleground state. No doubt that is going to frustrate many folks on the left who are trying their best to hang on to as many seats as possible.
The news of her decision stunned many individuals in the state because the 72-year-old had not given any previous indications that she would be stepping down anytime in the near future. The impending retirement of Stabenow will transform the next Senate race into one of the most competitive in America as Democrats fight tooth and nail to hang on to the very slim majority they currently have in the Senate.
“Inspired by a new generation of leaders, I have decided to pass the torch in the U.S. Senate. I am announcing today that I will not seek reelection and will leave the U.S. Senate at the end of my term on January 3, 2025,” Stabenow said in a statement, according to the Associated Press.
Democrats are going to face quite a challenge attempting to find an individual with the kind of support Stabenow enjoys.
Inspired by a new generation of leaders, I have decided to pass the torch in the U.S. Senate. I am announcing today that I will not seek re-election and will leave the U.S. Senate at the end of my term on January 3, 2025.
Read my full statement:https://t.co/qYJE6lyRJ3 pic.twitter.com/Fq659Aevs0
— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (@SenStabenow) January 5, 2023
Republicans have already stated they would “aggressively target this seat in 2024,” which, of course, is totally to be expected as the GOP is seeking to gain control over the Senate. Having both chambers would be a massive help in getting a Republican president elected in the upcoming race, but also would provide benefits now by shutting down President Joe Biden’s progressive agenda.
The Associated Press writes, “While the current political climate in Michigan favors Democrats following a midterm election where they flipped the state House and Senate, the state is still expected to be one of the nation’s premier battlegrounds in the 2024 presidential election. Only one Michigan Republican has held a seat in the Senate in the past 40 years.”
A few names that began circulating as a potential replacement for Stabenow are as follows, courtesy of the AP:
– Pete Buttigieg, the U.S. transportation secretary who ran for president in 2020 and moved from Indiana to northern Michigan last year to be closer to his legally recognized spouse’s family.
– Rep. Elissa Slotkin, first elected in 2018 and coming off a victory in November in one of the country’s most competitive House districts.
– State Sen. Mallory McMorrow, who has seen her profile rise since going viral with a speech responding to a Republican’s statement that she and other progressives were “outraged they can’t teach, can’t groom and sexualize kindergartners.”
Buttigieg has already released a statement saying that he’s “fully focused” on his current Cabinet position and is not “seeking any other job.” We’ll see if that holds true as the days move on.
Stabenow first joined Congress back in 1996 after serving in the Michigan Legislature.
“In 2000, she made history by becoming the first woman to be elected senator in Michigan, defeating a Republican incumbent. She turned back GOP challenges in 2006 and 2012 and defeated Republican John James by 6.5 percentage points in her last election in 2018. James was elected to the House in November,” the AP reports.
The AP continues, “Stabenow is the longest-serving member of the state’s congressional delegation. She is chairwoman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, making her the No. 3 ranking party leader, and heads the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.”
This is a great opportunity for Republicans so long as they choose a strong candidate in the upcoming 2024 election. It’s critical to take every seat possible, especially in places like Michigan that are so critical to our nation.
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