Stabenow Says She Won’t Run Again in 2024
LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., revealed Thursday that she will not run for a fifth term in 2024, opening up a seat in the key battleground state.
“Inspired by a new generation of leaders, I have decided to pass the torch in the U.S. Senate. I am announcing today that I will not seek reelection and will leave the U.S. Senate at the end of my term on Jan. 3, 2025,” Stabenow said in a statement.
Stabenow’s decision comes just two months after Democrats held on to control of the Senate in the midterm elections. Her decision will create a vacancy in party leadership.
She joined the House in 1996. She then made history in 2000 by becoming the first woman to be elected senator in Michigan, defeating Republican incumbent Spencer Abraham in a tight race.
Stabenow won, garnering just 49.5% of the vote, to Abraham’s 48% (a margin of 67,259 votes).
She turned back Republican challengers in 2006 and 2012, and rose to become the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, where she is currently chair of the Policy and Communications Committee, as well as the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.
Stabenow is now also the longest-serving member of the state’s congressional delegation. With her departure, Michigan’s 2024 Senate race is sure to be one of the most closely watched in the country.
Long a battleground state, Michigan is currently seen as favoring Democrats after the party successfully flipped the state House and Senate.
Stabenow’s announcement also comes as the Democratic National Committee is considering changes to the party’s presidential primary calendar. If the party approves a plan already endorsed by its rule-making committee, Michigan will move up in the calendar, and be the fifth state to vote in the primaries, on Feb 27.
In her statement, Stabenow vowed to remain “intensely focused on continuing this important work to improve the lives of Michiganders.”
“This includes leading the passage of the next five-year farm bill, which determines our nation’s food and agriculture policies. It is also key in protecting our land and water and creating jobs in our rural and urban communities,” she said.
“I am so grateful for the trust the people of Michigan have placed in me. I am also deeply grateful to my incredible staff, who are the best team in the United States Senate. They continue to set the highest standards for service in Michigan and across our country,” Stabenow continued.
“When my term ends, I intend to begin a new chapter in my life that includes continuing to serve our state outside of elected office while spending precious time with my amazing 96-year-old mom and my wonderful family,” she said.