Slotkin to Run for Stabenow Senate Seat

February 27, 2023 by Dan McCue
Slotkin to Run for Stabenow Senate Seat
FILE - House Homeland Security Committee member Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., asks a question during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on "Worldwide Threats to the Homeland," at the Capitol in Washington, Nov. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

WASHINGTON — Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., announced on Monday she’s running for the U.S. Senate seat in Michigan being vacated by incumbent Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Stabenow announced in early January that she “decided to pass the torch” to a new generation of lawmakers when her current term ends on Jan. 3, 2025.

In an announcement posted on Twitter shortly after 8 a.m. Monday morning, Slotkin picked up on that theme, saying, “We need a new generation of leaders that thinks differently, works harder and never forgets that we are ‘public servants.’

“This is why I’m running for U.S. Senate,” she said.

In the nearly three-minute video that formally kicks off her campaign, Slotkin recalls the galvanizing effect the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, had on her life.

That Tuesday morning also happened to be Slotkin’s second day of grad school in New York City.

“By the time the smoke cleared, I knew I wanted a career in public service, protecting my country,” she says in the video.

She was soon recruited by the CIA to be a Middle East analyst and did three tours in Iraq alongside military personnel. 

When she returned home, she then went to work in the White House, serving both George W. Bush, a Republican, and Barack Obama, a Democrat.

However, she says, nothing tested her more than when her mother was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer.

“She didn’t have health insurance … she let it lapse after many years of being gouged by the insurance companies because she happened to have a preexisting condition,” Slotkin said.

Though the congresswoman’s mother died in 2011, Slotkin said her enduring gift was “the way the community came together for us, friends, family, strangers, in our hour of crisis.”

“But that’s what we do in Michigan. Those are our values,” she said.

But not everything she recalled in her video was so fraught.

Slotkin, who was reelected to a third term in the House in November’s midterm elections, is the granddaughter of Hugo Slotkin, who parlayed an exclusive contract to sell hotdogs at Tigers Stadium in Detroit into the Ball Park Frank that is now ubiquitous in grocery stores from coast to coast.

Hugo Slotkin himself was building on the legacy of his father, Sam Slotkin, an immigrant from Belarus who initially hawked Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs in New York before starting his own meat processing operation in Detroit named Hygrade.

“My family has lived the American dream,” Slotkin said in her video. “I learned those values on my family farm in Hawley, [Michigan].

“We all know America is going through something right now. We seem to be living crisis to crisis, but there are certain things that should be really simple,” Slotkin said.

Later, she assures voters “our country is going to get through this.”

“It’s hard work. But that’s what Michiganders do. We need engaged citizens and principled leaders because together there is no problem we cannot solve,” she said.

Stabenow is the longest-serving member of the state’s congressional delegation. She joined the House in 1996, and made history in 2000 when she became the first woman to be elected senator in Michigan, defeating a Republican incumbent.

She’s since handily won each of her bids for reelection, and is currently on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, where she’s currently helping to craft the 2023 Farm Bill.

Slotkin is the first major candidate to enter the race for Stabenow’s seat.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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