Skip to main content

U.S. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan
Carl Levin
You can't say we didn't see this one coming: Veteran Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, who has served in the Senate since 1979, has announced that he will retire rather than seek a seventh term:
This decision was extremely difficult because I love representing the people of Michigan in the U.S. Senate and fighting for the things that I believe are important to them.  

As Barbara and I struggled with the question of whether I should run again, we focused on our belief that our country is at a crossroads that will determine our economic health and security for decades to come.  We decided that I can best serve my state and nation by concentrating in the next two years on the challenging issues before us that I am in a position to help address; in other words, by doing my job without the distraction of campaigning for re-election.

Levin goes on to outline those issues in the rest of his statement: cracking down on tax avoidance schemes, making sure Michigan's "manufacturing renaissance" continues, shedding light on secret money used in political campaigns, and ensuring our military readiness. Policy aside, there is, of course, the matter of politics. Levin originally said he'd decide in February but in pushing off that decision, he sounded decidedly unenthused, and who could blame him? Had Levin run again, he would have been a lock, but now the landscape has changed.

So the question, as always, is who might try to succeed him. Republicans chased fool's gold last year in the Wolverine State, as ex-Rep. Pete Hoekstra's dismal, racist campaign utterly floundered against Dem Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Will try they again? They don't have much of a bench, as evidenced by the fact that they turned to, well, Hoekstra last year. Rep. Candice Miller would be an upgrade, but the odds will be against the GOP just thanks to Michigan's demographics. And Rep. Justin Amash would be simply hilarious.

As for Democrats, the same names that have circulated for the governor's race will likely get talked about a bunch now: Rep. Gary Peters, ex-Rep. Mark Schauer and state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer top the list. Other possibilities could include 2010 gubernatorial nominee Virg Bernero, Andy Dillon (whom Bernero beat in the primary) and 2010 secretary of state nominee Jocelyn Benson.

Ultimately, what was a safe Democratic seat is now probably in the "Likely D" category, but we will, of course, keep track of all further developments here closely.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 02:37 PM PST.

Also republished by Motor City Kossacks and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site