Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., announced Monday that she will seek the Senate seat being left by Debbie Stabenow, a fellow Democrat who is not seeking re-election in 2024.
In a video announcing her campaign, Slotkin highlights her service in the CIA and on multiple tours in Iraq alongside U.S. troops, as well as a bipartisan track record in the national security space under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Still, “nothing is more important to me than” Michigan, Slotkin says.
Congresswoman announces her bid for Michigan Senate seatFeb. 27, 202301:33
“We need a new generation of leaders that thinks differently, works harder and never forgets that we are public servants,” Slotkin said in the video.
Slotkin noted that "nothing tested me more” than when her mother was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and didn’t have health insurance, adding that her mother had let it lapse after “many years of being gouged by the insurance companies because she happened to have a pre-existing condition.”
“It was like a grenade went off in our lives,” she said. Slotkin recalled helping her mother fill out paperwork for bankruptcy the same week she was seeking life-saving medical care. Her mother died in 2011.
Slotkin joins several of her House counterparts in trying to run for the Senate in the upcoming 2024 cycle across various competitive races. Her announcement, expected for weeks, comes after several prominent Michigan Democrats took themselves out of the running.
In recent days, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist and state Sen. Mallory McMorrow, who had developed a national donor base after going viral last year for her defense of LGBTQ rights, announced they would not run. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Rep. Haley Stevens and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who moved to the state after growing up and holding office in Indiana, had all previously said they had no plans to seek the seat.
Other potential candidates, such as Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, have indicated they prefer to stay in their current jobs.
The Republican side remains a bit unsettled. Rep. John James — who is twice a losing Senate candidate in Michigan but seen as a viable contender for Stabenow's seat this time — has instead made plans to run for re-election to the House. GOP possibilities include Tudor Dixon, the party’s losing candidate for governor in 2022, Reps. Bill Huizenga and Lisa McClain, and former Reps. Peter Meijer, Mike Rogers and Fred Upton.
Slotkin was re-elected in the November midterm elections. A month before her win, Slotkin said the Democratic Party needs “new blood” in Congress and the White House in 2024 but committed to support President Joe Biden if he runs for re-election.
Asked in an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” whether she would back Biden in the next presidential election, Slotkin said she would and expects the party would as well.
But Slotkin also said she believes it’s time for “new leaders” including some from the Midwest.
“That’s been important to me, to reflect the middle of the country. We’re here, too,” said Slotkin, who was among a handful of House Democrats who did not vote for Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, 82, in her last bid for speaker.