HOWELL, MI (WHTC) - Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland) has said that Republican primary elections tend to be "donnybrooks." Such may be the case now for the GOP nomination in the 2014 US Senate race in MIchigan.
The man political pundits in the state generally considered to be the front-runner for the bid, US House Representative Mike Rogers (R-Howell), announced on Friday that he would focus only on a reelection bid to the Lower Chamber and not vie for the seat that six-term Senator Carl Levin (D-Detroit) is retiring from. In an email to media outlets, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said that "the best way for me to continue to have a direct impact for my constituents and the nation is to remain in the House of Representatives."
Rogers has emerged nationally as a GOP point man in the wake of a number of scandals in recent months, most notably the Benghazi attack, and was also perceived to be a leading candidate to take over the FBI before being passed over earlier this spring.
With Rogers now out of the Senate race, there is only one announced Republican candidate, former Michigan Secretary of State Terry Lynn Land, the Hope College graduate from Byron Center. Dr. Rob Steele, Congressman Justin Amash, and state lawmakers Roger Kahn and Pete Lund have also been mentioned as possible hopefuls, while Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra isn't totally dismissing his ambitions after a "Dykstra 4 Senate" slide presentation during last month's Tulip Time Festival Luncheon.
Democrats are already rallying behind Congressman Gary Peters (D-Rochester Hills), who is the only announced candidate and is not expected to get any primary challenges.
Republicans from Michigan haven't been in the US Senate since Spencer Abraham lost his only reelection bid to Debbie Stabenow in 2000; Andrew Raczkowski, Mike Bouchard, Jack Hoogendyk and Pete Hoekstra have been soundly beaten by Levin and Stabenow in their challenges since there.