DETROIT (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican who served in the U.S. House for seven terms and chaired its intelligence committee, is expected to soon announce a bid for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Rogers would become the first prominent Republican in the state to announce a campaign more than eight months after longtime Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow announced that she would retire next year after her fourth term. The people familiar with the matter spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement expected in the coming days.
His announcement could immediately make the race one of the most competitive in the country in 2024, when Republicans are looking to take control of the chamber from Democrats, who hold a slim 51-49 majority.
A bid also could be a boost for Michigan Republicans. The party has been in turmoil in recent years and has struggled to win statewide races. Democrats won races for governor, attorney general and secretary of state in last year’s midterms and clinched control of both state legislative chambers.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who announced in February she is seeking the Senate seat, has secured a number of notable endorsements and was able to raise nearly $6 million in the first four months of her campaign. Other Democrats also have joined the race, including actor Hill Harper.
Rogers, who made a name for himself during his time in Congress as a moderate Republican, is hoping that his over two decades in Michigan politics can help him become the first Republican to win a Senate race in the battleground state since 1994.
A former Marine and FBI agent, Rogers served eight years in the Michigan state Senate before representing mid-Michigan in Congress from 2001 to 2015. He was endorsed by the FBI Agents Association in 2017 to become the next FBI director before President Donald Trump chose Christopher Wray.
The 60-year-old Rogers had initially denied rumors he planned to run for Senate following Stabenow’s announcement and had indicated that he planned to run for president. His plans changed over the past several months as the Republican White House field grew crowded.
Defending the Michigan seat could prove crucial for Democrats in their effort to maintain the Senate, where the party faces tough headwinds as they defend seats in Republican-leaning states from West Virginia to Montana and Ohio.
Republicans have taken just one of Michigan’s last 15 Senate races, but the margin of victory for Democrats has shrunk every election since Democratic Sen. Carl Levin won reelection in 2008 by 29 percentage points. Democratic Sen. Gary Peters won reelection over GOP challenger John James by less than 2 percentage points in 2020, the closest race in over two decades.
Several other Michigan Republican candidates have announced campaigns for the seat, including state Board of Education member Nikki Snyder.