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Possible candidates emerge for US Senate after Stabenow retirement announcement

Posted at 11:10 PM, Jan 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-06 09:52:33-05

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — With the announcement of Sen. Debbie Stabenow planning to retire at the end of her term, new names are emerging for possible candidates to fill her seat.

Voters are also sharing what qualities they will be looking for.

“Someone who is people-forward, community-forward. I’m a mother. Someone who is always advocating for family,” voter Blake Benberry said.

Former Democratic National Committee member and democratic strategist Alexis Wiley told 7 Action News, “You’ve got Elisa Slotkin who has a really strong track record as one of the few Democrats in Congress who’s won in a Trump district repeatedly. You’ve also got Pete Buttigieg who moved to Michigan. I wouldn’t be surprised if John James put his hat in the ring, coming off of his recent win.”

Political experts say possible Democrat candidates include:

  • U.S. Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
  • Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrest
  • Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin
  • Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel
  • Former Congressman Andy Levin
  • Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
  • Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade
  • Businessman Nasser Beydoun

Republican potential candidates include:

  • Congressman John James
  • Businesswoman Lisa McClain
  • Former candidate for governor Tudor Dixon
  • Former Detroit Police Department Chief James Craig
  • Former U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider
  • Former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
  • Businessman Perry Johnson

On the streets of metro Detroit, voters we talked to on both sides say they’ll be looking at candidates based on a variety of factors.

“I love women leaders. I love men as well, but it’s always a great opportunity for another woman to stand up,” Benberry.

Voter John Vernon said, “Payroll taxes, business and I’m a small business owner. Business experience would be nice.”

Also weighing in is former Oakland County Republican Party Chair Rocky Raczkowski.

“Macomb County really represents all of Michigan. You’ve got conservatives and Democrats. Everybody living in Macomb County. Mark Hackel is the type of person that says let’s work for the people, solve the issues and move our nation forward. Mark Hackel is a very solid candidate,” Raczkowski said.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has announced he will not be running.

More names are expected to come out in the next few weeks.