Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin is entering the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, with a campaign launch video on her YouTube page and a US Senate campaign website up.
The announcement makes Slotkin the first Democrat to officially declare a bid in what is likely to be among the most competitive and expensive Senate contests in 2024.
In the three-minute-long video, Slotkin talks about growing up in Michigan, entering public service after 9/11 and going on to work for the CIA.
“Look, we all know America is going through something right now. We seem to be living crisis to crisis. But there are certain things that should be really simple,” Slotkin says in the video. “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.”
Slotkin won reelection to the US House in one of Michigan’s top battleground districts in 2022. According to her most recent FEC filing, Slotkin had about $130,000 in her campaign account at the end of 2022.
Michigan’s Senate seat is crucial for Democrats. The party is defending 23 of the 34 Senate seats up for reelection next year, including three seats in states that backed former President Donald Trump by at least 8 points in 2020: West Virginia, Montana and Ohio. Besides Michigan, the party is also defending seats in other battleground states such as Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Other potential candidates for the seat include Republican Reps. Bill Huizenga and John James, Democratic Reps. Dan Kildee and Debbie Dingell, and Democratic state Sen. Mallory McMorrow, who drew national attention last year in a floor speech pushing back against anti-LGBTQ attacks from a Republican colleague. James lost a closer-than-expected race to Stabenow in 2018 and then narrowly lost a bid for the state’s other Senate seat in 2020, before winning election to the House in November from a swing seat north of Detroit.
This story has been updated with additional details and background information.