Democratic Rep. Eliza Slotkin announced the Senate race in Michigan

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Democratic Rep. Eliza Slatkin announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Michigan on Monday, entering a race seen as a key battleground in the 2024 fight for control of the upper chamber of Congress.

Slatkin’s Senate run was widely expected after Sen. Debbie Stapenow (D) stunned Michigan Democrats last month by deciding not to seek re-election. In recent weeks, Slatkin has held one-on-one conversations with Democrats across the state to gauge support for his effort. Most major Democrats in the state have decided not to run, making Slatkin the early front-runner.

Democratic Senate. Debbie Stabenow will not seek re-election in 2024

In the nearly three-minute autobiographical ad, Slatkin says, “We need a new generation of leaders who think differently, work hard and never forget that we are public servants.”

“Look, our country is going through this. It’s hard work, but that’s what Michiganders do,” he says.

The 46-year-old former CIA analyst is seen by many top Democrats as a formidable contender in a key battleground state, with a proven track record of winning competitive House districts. He has positioned himself as a moderate who rejects the positions and rhetoric adopted by the far left while supporting democratic principles such as abortion rights and the ban on assault weapons.

Slatkin won her first election in 2018, pushing President Donald Trump like many women that year to seek office in rejection.

Other well-known figures from the state, such as Michigan resident Gretchen Whitmer (D) and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, have said they will not run for Senate. Recently, Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens ruled out a run, as did state Senate. A speech by Mallory McMorrow, falsely accusing a Republican colleague of wanting to sexually groom her, gained national attention last year.

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In an interview with the Washington Post last month, Former Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence said she was looking for “a strong African American candidate.” If she doesn’t find one, Lawrence, who is black, said she’ll consider running on her own. Lieutenant Governor Carlin Gilchrist, who is black, has also said he is not running.

No major Republicans have yet entered the race. GOP Rep. John James announced last week that he would not seek the open Senate seat. Other Republicans whose names have been released include former Congressman Fred Upton, who retired last year, former Congressman Peter Major, who lost his House primary after voting to impeach Trump, and Tudor Dixon, the party’s 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee.

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