WASHINGTON (MIRS News) – Assuming everything goes as planned and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) retires after 24 years in the U.S. Senate at the end of 2024, she will go down in history as Michigan’s second-longest tenured U.S. Senator, following former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin.
At the moment, Stabenow is behind former U.S. Sen. Arthur VandenBerg who served 23 years in the U.S. Senate between 1928 and 1951. VandenBerg, like Stabenow, was elected four times, but he died before he could complete his fourth term.
Levin served six terms and an unprecedented 36 years.
Stabenow has said she plans to “run through the tape” and not resign early so Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could pick a replacement that would have a leg up in the 2024 election. However, history has shown none of the 39 different people who have represented Michigan in the U.S. Senate resigned early for the sole purpose of the Governor being able to pick an immediate successor.
Lewis Cass resigned to run for president. Isaac Christiancy stepped aside due to ill health and Truman Newberry resigned before he could be unseated due to the questionable circumstances behind his election.
Ten, or more than 25% of every U.S. senator from Michigan, has died in office.
Of the 39 different U.S. senators, 15 served in the U.S. House, 16 in the state Legislature, seven were governors, three were Detroit mayors, two were Supreme Court justices, one was a lieutenant governor, one was an attorney general and none were Secretaries of State.
Stabenow is the only woman of the 39.
The frontrunner to replace her, in the opinion of EPIC-MRA President Bernie Porn, is U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly).
“I think she is probably the front runner because she is the whole package,” the EPIC-MRA president shared with MIRS.
He concluded she checks a lot of the boxes one needs to win a statewide office.
“She is a moderate Democrat. She has all the experience that one could possibly have to be in the U.S. Senate and there is her ability to raise money like no one else has in a U.S. congressional race, and I assume she can do that in the U.S. Senate race.”
On the GOP side of the ledger, Porn awards the frontrunner status to U.S. Rep. John James (R), who previously lost twice for the Senate.
Given that he ran well against Stabenow and U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D) , “it would be logical for him to consider it,” Porn said. “I think John James is someone who is going to be pressured to run.”
Having said that, the pollster does see a “negative” aspect to his possible candidacy: The margin of victory.
Porn says it is true that Whitmer’s coattails cut in to the James margin of victory, along with the new 10th Congressional District trending a little more Democratic than some felt was the case.
That said, Porn said James outspent his opponent, Carl Marlinga, by “a wide margin and only won by 1,500 votes. That’s a negative.”