Rep. Elissa Slotkin Entering 2024 US Senate Race for Open Michigan Seat

Rep. Elissa Slotkin Entering 2024 US Senate Race for Open Michigan Seat
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) speaks at a campaign rally she held in East Lansing, Mich., on Oct. 16, 2022. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) on Feb. 27 announced she is running for the U.S. Senate.

“There are certain things that should be really simple, like living a middle class life in the state that invented the middle class, like making things in America so that we’re in control of our own economic security, like protecting our children from the things that are truly harming them, and preserving our rights and our democracy so that our kids can live their version of the American dream,” Slotkin said in her campaign announcement.

“This is why I’m running for the United States Senate. We need a new generation of leaders that thinks differently, works harder, and never forgets that we are public servants,” she added.

Slotkin, 46, is vying for the seat currently held by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).

Stabenow, 72, who has held the seat since 2001, said in January she will not seek another term.

Slotkin worked for the CIA for years before entering Congress in 2019. She has won three close races. She knocked off incumbent Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Mich.) with 50.6 percent of the vote in 2018. In the 2022 midterms, she triumphed over Republican Tom Barrett with 51.7 percent of the vote to represent Michigan’s 7th Congressional District.

Slotkin is the first Democrat to jump into the race. Republicans Michael Hoover, a businessman, and Nikki Snyder, 38, a member of the Michigan State Board of Education, have launched campaigns.

Republicans criticized Slotkin, pointing to a past that includes her leasing a home from a campaign donor.

“Elissa Slotkin is a liberal politician with some serious ethical baggage,” Maggie Abboud, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in a statement.

The Democrat Senate campaign arm has not issued a statement on Slotkin’s announcement and did not respond to a request for comment.

Slotkin is the seventh House Democrat to leave office or announce a run for another office.

Republicans are also already targeting the seat that Slotkin represents as a pickup opportunity.

“The path to growing the Republican majority runs through seats like Elissa Slotkin’s. The NRCC is all hands on deck to add this seat to the Republican column in 2024,” Jack Pandol, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said.

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) holds the other U.S. Senate seat representing Michigan. Peters, 64, beat Republican John James, 41, in 2020 by about 92,300 votes out of more than 6.3 million cast.

James also narrowly lost in a race against Stabenow, but emerged victorious in 2022 in his bid to represent Michigan’s 10th Congressional District.

James said Friday he will run for another term in the House rather than try for the Senate a third time.

Another potential contender said over the weekend that he would not run for the seat.

“Serving our state in Washington, DC would be a great opportunity, but instead I will keep standing tall for Michigan, right here at home, as Lieutenant Governor,” Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, a Democrat, said in a statement.

“The Governor & I have more work to do. I look forward to working with our next US Senator to get it done,” Gilchrist, 40, added.

State Sen. Mallory McMorrow, 36, a Democrat, and Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.), 39, have also recently said they will not run.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) speaks to reporters in Washington on Dec. 6, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) speaks to reporters in Washington on Dec. 6, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Senate Outlook

The Michigan seat is one of 33 that is up for election in the 2024 election.

Out of those, 23 are held by Democrats or nominal independents who regularly vote with Democrats. Just 10 are held by Republicans.

The GOP hoped to flip the upper chamber in the midterms, but actually lost a seat when Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) beat Dr. Mehmet Oz.

That seat had been held by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who retired rather than run for another term.

Republicans believe they can unseat at least several senators to gain a majority.

That includes Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who represent red states.

Democrats have expressed confidence they'll maintain control of the Senate.

Republicans did succeed in flipping the House in the midterms, and hold a small majority there.

Voters will also decide in 2024 whether President Joe Biden, if he runs for another term, remains in office for four more years or select a Republican. Former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are among the Republicans who have launched presidential bids.