Michigan Senator Carl Levin announced today that he will be retiring after he finishes his term next year. The Democrat senator stated he won’t be running for re-election in 2014. The 78-year-old, who is the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, is also one of the most influential members of the Senate. In a statement released by the close of business today he wrote,
“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”.
Levin is the longest serving senator in Michigan history. It has been clear that Democratic Party leaders have been pushing incumbents to announce their intentions early in order to recruit new candidates as early as possible. He stated that he had discussed what to do at length with his wife,
“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”.
In a statement from the Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Michael Bennet said “I am confident that we will recruit a great Democratic leader who will continue to fight for the values and priorities Senator Levin advocated for all these years. We fully expext to keep Michigan blue in November 2014”.
Although Mr. Bennet may be confident, it seems like a great opening for the Republicans in Michigan to win back the seat. The National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman had this to say, “We have been speaking to people on the ground in Michigan, from local officials to grassroots organizations and residents, in the event that Mr. Levin would decide to retire and now that groundwork will begin to pay off”.
Perhaps this is great way for the Republicans to take back control of the Senate in 2014. Another seat is always helpful, anyways.