Michigan Democrat Gary Peters enters race for US Senate

Carl Levin retiring, leaving open seat

Headline Goes Here

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan Rep. Gary Peters has announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat opening up with the retirement of Carl Levin.

With Peters' announcement Wednesday, the Democratic field is cleared until his November 2014 showdown with a Republican.

The three-term congressman is a former state senator and lottery commissioner who won tight House races in 2008 and 2010. The 54-year-old is from Bloomfield Township in Oakland County, a bellwether important to winning a statewide race.

Peters tells supporters in an email that he wants to ensure residents can find a good job and have a secure retirement. He says government spending must be controlled while Medicare and Social Security continue to be there for people.

The GOP's Senate campaign committee is hoping to coax Rep. Mike Rogers into the race.

A copy of Peters' email is below:

As you know, Carl Levin recently announced his intention to retire at the end of his term next year. For more than 35 years, Senator Levin has led the fight for Michigan values and a strong middle class. His thoughtfulness and integrity are respected around Michigan and across the nation, and he represents the best of what it means to be a true public servant.

Following Carl's decision, I have been humbled by the voices from every corner of Michigan who have enthusiastically encouraged me to run for the U.S. Senate. It is a decision that can only be made as a family and over the past few weeks, my wife Colleen and I, along with our three wonderful children, have discussed it at length.

We wanted you to be among the first to know of our decision.

Today -- I am officially announcing that I am a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2014.

This is a critical time for Michigan, and our main streets and middle class need an independent voice fighting for them.

Washington is a mess, but Michigan is on the verge of re-inventing itself with a new economy and a middle class that's stronger than ever — and I want to be on the front lines of that fight.

I've always believed that the things middle class families struggle with around their kitchen tables should define my work in Washington.

That's why I led the fight to increase lending to small businesses, make sure women receive equal pay for equal work, and held Wall Street accountable when they took their taxpayer-funded bailouts and paid themselves bonuses.

We've made some progress, but we're a long way from finished.

Together, we must work to make sure that Michigan will always be a place where people can work hard, have access to an affordable education, find a good-paying job and enjoy a secure retirement. That's the American dream, and it's always been the foundation of Michigan's middle class.

We have to get spending under control and return our focus to creating jobs, finding innovative ways to help small businesses grow, and fixing our economy.

And we must continue the fight to protect our seniors — Medicare and Social Security are under attack, and no one will fight harder to make sure these crucial programs are there for this generation and the next.

Set politics and party aside: if it's not right for Michigan's small businesses and middle class, it's never been right with me.

I think that kind of independent approach is exactly what Michigan needs in the Senate right now.

This week I will be meeting with folks in Greater Detroit, Flint, Lansing, and Grand Rapids. I'll be headed to Traverse City, Alpena, and the Upper Peninsula soon.

Please join our campaign for the U.S. Senate at: PetersforMichigan.com today.

Together — we will make a difference!

Copyright 2013 by ClickOnDetroit.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.