Democratic Rep. and former CIA analyst Elissa Slotkin announces she is running for the vacant Michigan Senate seat in a bid for Democrats to maintain control of the upper house
- Elissa Slotkin is the first frontrunner for the Democratic nomination
- Senator Debbie Stabenow announced that she would not run again
- Elections will help determine which party controls the Senate
Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin announced her candidacy Monday for the vacant Michigan Senate seat, a key battleground that will help determine which party controls the upper house.
Slotkin, 46, is seen as a formidable competitor and an early contender for the nomination.
She has won three tough House races in her swing district, proving herself a prodigious fundraiser and activist.
She won her first election in 2018, when she flipped a traditionally Republican district to Democrats, and was one of many women motivated to seek public office following the election of President Donald Trump.
She also has a stellar resume: She’s a former CIA analyst who joined the agency after the 9/11 attacks and has served in intelligence and defense roles for two presidents: George W. Bush and Barack Obama. She also served three tours in Iraq as an intelligence officer.
Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin announced her candidacy for the open Michigan Senate seat — she is the first-ever frontrunner for the nomination
However, her announcement for public office comes shortly after her announcement that she is divorcing her husband, Dave Moore.
“After careful consideration, we are saddened to announce that we are divorcing after 12 years of marriage,” Slotkin and Moore said in a joint statement earlier this month.
She had told Michigan reporters that the divorce had nothing to do with her political career.
His Senate announcement came in a nearly three-minute biographical ad, with Slotkin emphasizing that background and his Michigan roots. He also talked about his mother, who died of ovarian cancer and had no insurance, and his family history: his grandfather founded Ballpark Franks.
“I am a third generation Michigander and my family has lived the American dream,” he says in the ad.
‘It seems that we are living from crisis to crisis. But there are certain things that should be really simple, like living a middle-class life in the state that invented the middle class, like doing things in America so that we’re in control of our own economic security, like protecting our children from things that are truly harming them, and preserving our rights and our democracy. So that our children can live their version of the American dream. That is why I am running for the United States Senate.
Slotkin made his interest in the race known shortly after Sen. Debbie Stabenow shocked Michigan Democrats last month with her decision not to seek re-election.
Many other leading Democrats in the state, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (left) and Michigan-based Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (right), have said they will not run for the Senate.
Many other prominent Democrats in the state, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan-based Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, have said they will not run for the Senate, clearing the way for Slotin to be the favorite.
The Republicans immediately swooped in, painting Slotkin as a liberal elitist. Still, the Republican Party has yet to field a strong candidate for the race.
Republican Rep. John James is running for re-election in his House seat. He has made two strong but unsuccessful Senate runs in the past: against Stabenow in 2018 and against Sen. Gary Peters in 2020.
So far, Nikki Snyder, a Republican member of the state Board of Education, has been running to run, as has Michael Hoover, a small business owner and first-time candidate.
No Republican has won a US Senate seat in Michigan since the Republican wave in 1994.
Slotkin has positioned herself as a moderate and defends Democratic principles such as protecting abortion rights and banning assault weapons.
He has seen two mass shootings in his district: at Oxford High School in November 2021 and the second was two weeks ago at Michigan State University.
Former Republican Rep. Liz Cheney (right) campaigned for Elissa Slotkin (left) in the 2022 election
Former Republican Rep. Liz Cheney campaigned for her in the 2022 election.
Cheney appeared with Slotkin in his district shortly before that election and said it was his first time campaigning for a Democrat, but “it wasn’t a hard call at all.”
“If we want to ensure the survival of our republic, we have to get away from politics as usual,” Cheney said. ‘We have to stand up, each one of us, and say that we are going to do the right thing for this country. Let’s look beyond partisan politics.’