Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) will do not seek re-election In 2024, opening up a Senate seat in a key swing state that has tilted Democratic over the past few cycles.

Stabenow has been in the Senate since 2000 and has held public office since 1975, when he first won election as a county commissioner in Ingham, Michigan, which includes much of the Lansing area.

She has been a popular senator, winning re-election with relative ease, and is known for her frequent advocacy on behalf of mental health and preservation of the Great Lakes.

Stabeno’s announcement was made in an interview with Melissa Nan Burke of The Detroit NewsMichigan comes months after Democrats won big in the midterms of 2022Won every statewide race for the first time since the 1980s and gained complete control of the state legislature.

That victory was a factor in his decision, Stabenow told Burke.

“I think it’s important to know the time and place where you re-open the doors for others and pass the torch,” Stabenow said. “I think it’s really the right time for me, it’s the right time for Michigan.”

The 2024 Senate map is already looking tricky for Democrats as they have to defend a vulnerable number of seats. But the party has no shortage of laudable candidates with a track record of political success in Michigan.

That list includes several members of the state’s US House delegation, including Rep. Debbie Dingell, alyssa slotkinHaley Stevens, as well as local and statewide officials, such as Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has served in public office for nearly 50 years.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

governor Gretchen Whitmer, Whoever won re-election decisively would also be a formidable candidate. But she has said she wants to serve a second term — and is widely believed to have her eye on higher office the next time the Democrats need a presidential candidate.

Stabeno’s nearly 50-year career spanned an era in which women played a much larger role in politics, and Stabeno did her part to help lead that change. She has stated that she is the first member of the Michigan State House to bear a child while in office and the first woman to preside over the State House as Assistant Speaker.

“I remember the talk between the speaker and the others at the time – would I be able to hold the attention of the House? Would I be able to call them to order and be able to hold their attention and manage that?” she told Burke. “And so the first time I got there, I took the gavel and hit it so hard that a piece of it flew across the room.”

Stabenow was also the first woman to serve as a US Senator from Michigan.

In 2009, she made headlines — and created a viral moment — during a debate on the Affordable Care Act when a Republican colleague questioned a proposed requirement that insurance cover maternity care.

The Republican senator said that, as a man, he did not need maternity coverage. Stabenow replied quickly“I think your mother probably did.”

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