Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate in Michigan on Monday, entering a race regarded as a key battleground in the fight for control of the upper chamber of Congress in 2024.
Slotkin’s Senate run was widely anticipated after Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) stunned Michigan Democrats last month with her decision not to seek reelection. In recent weeks, Slotkin has had private conversations with Democrats around the state to gauge and build support for her bid. Most prominent Democrats in the state have decided not to run, making Slotkin the early front-runner.
In a nearly three-minute biographical ad, Slotkin says, “We need a new generation of leaders that thinks differently, works harder and never forgets that we are public servants.”
“Look, our country is going to get through this. It’s hard work, but that’s what Michiganders do,” she says.
The 46-year-old former CIA analyst is seen by many top Democrats as a formidable contender in a key battleground who has a proven record of winning in competitive House districts. She has positioned herself as a moderate, rejecting positions and rhetoric adopted by the far left while championing Democratic principles like abortion rights and a ban on assault weapons.
Slotkin won her first election in 2018, motivated like many women that year to seek office in repudiation of President Donald Trump.
Other well-known figures in the state such as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has a residence in Michigan, have said they will not run for Senate. Recently, Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens ruled out running, as did state Sen. Mallory McMorrow, who received national attention last year for a speech that went viral chastising a Republican colleague who had falsely accused her of wanting to sexually groom children.
In an interview with The Washington Post last month,former congresswoman Brenda Lawrence said she is looking for a “strong African American to run.” If she doesn’t find one, Lawrence, who is Black, said she’d consider running herself. Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, who is Black, has also ruled out running.
No prominent Republicans have entered the race yet. GOP Rep. John James announced last week he wouldn’t be seeking the open Senate seat. Other Republicans whose names have been floated include former congressman Fred Upton, who retired last year, former congressman Peter Meijer, who lost his House primary after voting to impeach Trump, and the party’s 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee, Tudor Dixon.