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Mallory McMorrow and John James.
Mallory McMorrow and John James.AP

Michigan's McMorrow and James opt out of open Senate race

One Democrat and one Republican announced Friday they wouldn't run for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow.


Michigan Republican Rep. John James and Democratic state Sen. Mallory McMorrow announced Friday that they will not run for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabbenow in 2024.

A spokeswoman with James' campaign confirmed to NBC News that he plans to file for re-election, and the congressman told The Detroit News in an op-ed that published Friday that “the plainest way I can put it is that I’m committed to the district."

McMorrow made her announcement in a statement released Friday morning. The state senator gained prominence last year denouncing anti-LGBT rhetoric from a GOP colleague and is now serving as the Senate Majority Whip after Democrats took control of the state Senate after the 2022 elections.

"Now more than ever, we need strong leadership where it matters most. That’s why I’ll be focusing all of my attention on serving in the Michigan state Senate," she said in a statement.

"With divided government in Washington, what’s clear now — more than ever — is that the most important office to Michiganders’ everyday lives isn’t in Washington. It’s in their state Capitol."

The open Michigan Senate seat will likely be one of the more competitive races on a 2024 Senate battlefield that features tough terrain for Democrats. Among those considering a bid on the Democratic side are Reps. Elissa Slotkin and Debbie Dingell, as well as the state's lieutenant governor, Garlin Gilchrist.

There's also expected to be a competitive primary on the GOP side too, which could include previous statewide candidates like 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon or former GOP congressmen like Mike Rogers, Peter Meijer or Fred Upton.

CORRECTION (February 24, 2023, 3:40 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article mistakenly contained outdated information stating that the James campaign did not return a request for comment.