Showcasing his resume and emphasizing he’s “ready to serve again,” former longtime U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan on Wednesday announced his 2024 candidacy for Senate in the crucial Great Lakes battleground of Michigan.
“America under Biden and his cronies is going in the wrong direction,” the Republican argued in a campaign launch video. “We can do better, and that’s why I’m running for the United States Senate. To get government out of the way, unleash American innovation and take common sense back to Washington.”
Rogers, who represented parts of central Michigan 14 years in Congress before deciding against running for re-election in 2014, served as House Intelligence Committee chair during his last four years in office.
And he becomes the first prominent Republican to run for the open Senate seat held by longtime Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
Stabenow announced eight months ago she wouldn’t seek re-election in 2024 for a fifth six-year term representing Michigan in the Senate.
“Michigan’s way of life is worth defending. That’s why I served in the Army. That’s why I served in the FBI, taking down organized crime. That’s why I led the House Intelligence Committee in the hard years after 9/11,” Rogers said in his video as he showcased his resume.
He also highlighted in his video that he “left politics to help build cybersecurity companies that can stop foreign threats like China.”
Rogers emphasized that “Michigan’s future is at risk” and touted that “no candidate is better prepared to have an impact on day one.”
Rogers’ announcement could make the race in Michigan competitive as the GOP aims to win back the Senate majority next year. Republican sources confirmed to Fox News the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the campaign arm of the Senate GOP, encouraged Rogers to run.
“Mike Rogers has devoted his life to serving the people of Michigan and holding communist China accountable. Mike is the type of candidate who can perform well with suburban Michiganders and be a strong part of the eventual ticket in Michigan. I am pleased to see Mike stepping up to run for the U.S. Senate,” NRSC Chairman Sen. Steve Daines said in a statement.
Rogers last year and earlier this year flirted with a run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and made multiple stops in crucial early nominating states, like New Hampshire and Iowa, before deciding against a White House run.
Democrats spotlighted Rogers’ years of living in Florida after he retired from Congress in targeting the candidate.
“Mike Rogers has spent months showing more interest in running for President than running for Senate in a state he abandoned after his retirement. And while Rogers may be the first to enter the race, he’s unlikely to be the last, turning this race into yet another messy GOP primary,” Sarah Guggenheimer, spokesperson for the Democratic-aligned Senate Majority PAC, argued in a statement.
Michigan State Board of Education member Nikki Snyder, businessperson Michael Hoover and attorney Alexandria Taylor have also filed to run for the GOP Senate nomination.
James Craig, a former Detroit police chief and former gubernatorial candidate, is also mulling a Republican run for Senate.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin is the front-runner for the Democratic Senate nomination in a field that also includes actor and businessman Hill Harper, state Board of Education President Pamela Pugh and former state Rep. Leslie Love.
Democrats hold a 51-49 majority in the chamber, which includes three independent senators who caucus with the Democratic conference.
That means Republicans need a net gain of just one or two seats in 2024 to win back the majority, depending on which party controls the White House after next year’s presidential election.
The math and the map favor the GOP in 2024. Democrats are defending 23 of the 34 seats up for grabs, including three in red states and a handful in key general election battlegrounds.