Longtime Michigan U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow says she will leave the U.S. Senate at the end of her term in January of 2025.
She has spent more than two decades in her position and has risen to the No. 3 Democrat in Senate leadership. The decision is going to leave a huge void come 2025, when her term expires.
“I think it’s a good time to pass the torch to the next generation,” Stabenow said. “I certainly wrestled with it. It’s a big decision and it impacts a lot of people and so, it is, a relief. I feel very confident this is the right thing for me and my family.”
Stabenow, 72, has served as a powerful voice in the Senate and has been in public service in Michigan for more than 40 years. While her record is being celebrated both Republicans and Democrats in Michigan are eying an open Senate seat.
Read: Longtime Michigan US Senator Debbie Stabenow won’t seek new term in 2024
News that Stabenow is not running in 2024 has opened the political floodgates in Michigan. Her legacy makes her one of the most influential lawmakers of a generation.
“You thought 2022 was wild in Michigan? Wait until 2024 when we will decide who will be president and perhaps who , you know, have a major say in the U.S. Senate for the first time,” political expert Richard Czuba said. “I think the formidable frontrunner here is Congresswoman Slotkin out of the Lansing seat. She is a juggernaut at fundraising. She brings tremendous credibility on foreign policy and military issues.”
Other names being mixed into the conversations include Congresswoman Haley Stevens, Lieutenant Governor Garland Gilchrist and Sen. Mallory McMorrow. As for the Republicans, Czuba said the party is not cohesive right now and finding a candidate will take time.
“This is an open seat. it’s very alluring, but at the same time, who can bridge the gap between the Trump faction of the party,” Czuba said.
While the political backroom conversations are happening, many colleagues are extending their best to Stabenow.
Read: Who could run for Debbie Stabenow’s empty Michigan senate seat in 2024? Some potential names