Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson signaled Friday that she is not looking to run for Senate in 2024, telling Meet the Press NOW that she is focused on this election cycle “not as a candidate,” but as an election administrator.
Benson, a Democrat, was considered a potential contender in the newly open Michigan Senate race, after Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow's announcement Thursday that she is not running for re-election.
“I’m really happy in my current job, and I just took the oath of office for my second term a few days ago," Benson said. "My eyes are focused actually on 2024, not as a candidate, but as someone who will be working to protect the voice and the vote of every citizen in our state."
Primaries are expected on both sides of the aisle in the battleground state, and the Senate race could be one of the most competitive in the country. President Joe Biden won Michigan by just 3 percentage points in 2020 after former President Donald Trump carried the state by less than half a percentage point in 2016.
Benson’s comments come as she was honored with the Presidential Citizens Medal on Friday for her work to protect democracy during the 2020 presidential election, with Biden honoring election administrators and volunteers as well as law enforcement officials on the second anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
Benson said the scars from the harassment during the 2020 election and its aftermath continue to stick with her and others who were impacted, saying that they are "always going to be watching our back and prepared for any attack either on ourselves as people or the work we do."
Despite the harassment that resulted from the 2020 election, Benson is optimistic future elections will be protected.
"I have a lot of faith in our people to overcome those attacks," Benson said, "We’ve gotten stronger. We’ve gotten more sophisticated. We’ve collaborated more. Because of that I feel we’re stronger than we were in 2020."