Dem Rep. Debbie Dingell announces decision to not run in 2024 for open Senate seat in Michigan

April 15, 2023
Ben Marquis

When Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) announced in January that she would not seek re-election in 2024, it was widely presumed that Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) was the top prospect and presumptive frontrunner to replace the retiring senator and keep that crucial Senate seat in the Democratic column.

Dingell announced this week, however, that she has decided to forego a Senate campaign and will instead seek to remain in the House to continue serving her 6th District constituents, The Hill reported.

The congresswoman was first elected in 2014 to replace her retiring husband, the late former Rep. John Dingell Jr., who in turn had first been elected in a 1955 special election -- and became the longest-serving congressman ever in U.S. history -- to replace his father, the late former Rep. John Dingell Sr., who died in office after first being elected in 1932.

Dingell to remain in the House

In a thread of tweets on Tuesday, Rep. Dingell wrote, "After much consideration, I have decided that I can best serve Michigan and our nation as a member of the U.S. House. Because, bluntly, I love my job. I love my district. And most importantly, I love my constituents."

"I have heard from so many who encouraged me to run for this open Senate seat. I am truly grateful for the support & encouragement I have received over the past few months. Knowing that I have your confidence is inspiring and truly means the world to me," she continued.

The congresswoman added, "I look forward to continuing my work to represent the people of Michigan's 6th district & deliver solutions that help protect seniors, support working families, bring our supply chains home, boost manufacturing, fight for labor unions & build back our economy stronger than before."

Rep. Slotkin now the frontrunner, but faces controversy

The Hill noted that with Rep. Dingell now not in the race to fill Michigan's soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat, the presumptive frontrunner status likely falls to Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), who announced her plan to run in February and remarked upon the need for a "new generation of leaders that thinks differently, works harder, and never forgets that we are *public servants*."

Slotkin reportedly raised more than $3 million for that campaign through the first quarter, including around $1 million on the day of her announcement, but according to Breitbart, she is far from being a lock to win or even necessarily be the Democratic Party's nominee for the open seat.

The outlet noted that she faced a tougher-than-expected re-election fight against her GOP challenger, State Sen. Tom Barrett, who repeatedly hammered her during the campaign over a rather controversial arrangement in which Slotkin rented from and shared a residence with a pharmaceutical company executive and lobbyist who also donated to her campaign.

Shortly after that rough campaign season was over, Slotkin then got a divorce from her husband of 12 years in what they described to the media as a mutual decision on "agreeable terms."

Growing field of already declared and prospective candidates

The Detroit News also reported on Rep. Dingell's decision to not run for the Senate and how that left Rep. Slotkin as the only declared Democratic candidate for the seat thus far, though others are expected to join the race at some point in the near future.

Those other prospects include Michigan State Board of Education President Pamela Pugh, actor Hill Harper, and businessman Nasser Beydoun.

Over on the Republican side, there are already two declared candidates for the certainly winnable open Senate seat, which could help flip the partisan balance of the legislative chamber, including State Board of Education member Nikki Snyder and businessman Christian Velasquez.

Also considering Senate campaigns as GOP candidates are former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, Rep. Lisa McClain, former Rep. Peter Meijer, and State Sen. Ruth Johnson.

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