Michigan Democrat’s decision sets the stage for a competitive 2024 race in a swing state

Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, chair of the Democratic Communications and Politics Committee and a close ally of Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), announced Thursday that she will not be running for re-election in 2024.

Stabenow’s announcement is a blow to Democrats’ hopes of retaining their Senate majority in 2025, as they face tough challenges to clinch a majority in the Upper House in the 2024 elections.

“Inspired by a new generation of leaders, I have decided to pass the torch in the United States Senate. I announce today that I will not seek re-election and will leave the United States Senate at the end of my term on January 3, 2025,” Stabenow announced in a statement Thursday.

Stabenow, the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, says she will focus on passing the farm bill through Congress, which provides hundreds of billions of dollars in support for agriculture.

“Over the next two years, I will be intensely focused on continuing this important work to improve the lives of Michiganders. This includes leading the passage of the next five years’ Farm Bill that determines our nation’s food and agricultural policies,” she said.

Democrats have to defend 23 Senate seats in the upcoming election, including those held by independent Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona), Bernie Sanders (Vermont) and Angus King (Maine).

Senate Republicans only need to defend 10 seats in 2024 and have no vulnerable incumbents who can’t win re-election.

At least two of Michigan’s most prominent Democrats, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who now splits his time between Washington, D.C. and his family’s home in Traverse City, Michigan, quickly announced Thursday that they were not planning a 2024 race for Stabenow’s seat.

Categorized in: