Mich. Democrat Peters enters race for US Senate - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Mich. Democrat Peters enters race for US Senate

Gary Peters talking to the media last August. Gary Peters talking to the media last August.

By DAVID EGGERT
Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Rep. Gary Peters announced his candidacy for retiring Sen. Carl Levin's seat Wednesday, officially entering a Democratic field that has been all but cleared for his campaign.
 
The 54-year-old three-term congressman is a former state senator and lottery commissioner who won bare-knuckle House races in 2008 and 2010. He is from Bloomfield Township in Oakland County, a suburban Detroit bellwether important to winning a statewide race.
 
"This is a critical time for Michigan, and our main streets and middle class need an independent voice fighting for them," Peters wrote in an email to supporters. "Washington is a mess, but Michigan is on the verge of re-inventing itself with a new economy and a middle class that's stronger than ever -- and I want to be on the front lines of that fight."
 
Peters already has more than $800,000 on hand for his campaign and no other Democrats are expected to seriously challenge him. Debbie Dingell, a former General Motors executive and wife of Democratic Rep. John Dingell, recently opted not to run.
 
Peters, who served 14 years in the Navy Reserve, held a low-key afternoon event with reporters at a downtown Rochester restaurant -- on a street where he previously worked as an investment adviser and inside a building where his great-grandfather once owned a carriage repair shop.
 
He said that while government spending must be controlled, Medicare and Social Security should survive into the future. He called Levin, the longest-serving senator in state history, a role model.
 
Peters plans to stop in Lansing and Flint on Thursday and Grand Rapids on Friday, with visits to northern Michigan later.
 
With Peters' candidacy official, attention turned to Republicans, who have their best shot to win one of Michigan's Senate seats in 20 years given Levin's retirement.
 
The GOP Senate campaign committee is hoping to coax seven-term Rep. Mike Rogers, 49, of Brighton into the race. A former FBI agent, he chairs the House Intelligence Committee and may be reluctant to give that up for an uncertain bid for the Senate.
 
"I am humbled by the support I have received to run for the U.S. Senate in Michigan," Rogers said in a statement. "I am taking a serious look at the race, discussing with my family and talking with my constituents about how I can have the most impact serving Michigan. I plan to make a decision in the near future."
 
Rogers has $1.4 million in his campaign account.
 
Former Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, 54, of Byron Center and two-term Rep. Justin Amash, 33, of Cascade Township, a favorite of libertarians, also have expressed interest in the race.
 
Land said Wednesday she is waiting for Rogers' decision. If he does not run, there is a good chance she will.
 
A message seeking comment was left for Amash, who has $114,000 in his campaign account and has tweeted that the GOP should not put up an "unelectable establishment candidate" with no appeal for independent and moderate voters.
 
Though Republicans control Michigan state government, including the governorship and Legislature, Democrats have fared well in federal elections. The state has gone for Democrats in six straight presidential elections.
 
Just one Michigan Republican has won a Senate seat in 40 years. Spencer Abraham's 1994 victory came in a non-presidential election year like 2014 will be. He lost six years later to Democrat Debbie Stabenow.
 
The GOP noted Peters lost his only previous statewide campaign -- a 2002 run for attorney general -- and since has voted for the contentious federal health care law and a cap-and-trade system to reduce emissions.
 
"It takes a special kind of guy like Peters to ask for a promotion from the very same people that his policies would put out of work," National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brad Dayspring said in a statement. "If Gary Peters is indeed the Democratic candidate in Michigan, Republicans have a great opportunity to pick up this seat and move closer to taking the majority in 2014."
 
Peters defeated an incumbent Republican congressman in 2008 and survived a national GOP wave in the 2010 midterm election. He was ranked as the most moderate Democrat in Michigan's House delegation in 2012.
 
Republicans "attacked me very aggressively in 2010 in a very difficult year for Democrats," Peters told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "Gov. (Rick) Snyder won my district by over 20 points and I was still elected even with those attacks. If you explain why you vote the way you vote, and connect to real challenges middle-class families are facing, that's what people want to hear."
 
------
 
Email David Eggert at deggert(at)ap.org and follow him at http://twitter.com/DavidEggert00

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Duggan bringing big changes to Detroit water department, starting with shutoffs

    Duggan bringing big changes to Detroit water department, starting with shutoffs

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:51 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:51:24 GMT
    Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is promising big changes at the water department, starting with the controversial shutoffs."Certainly it has hurt the reputation of the city," Duggan said. "I have been anxious to do something about it for awhile and I am just glad I have a chance to do it,"Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr handed over the water department to the mayor and City Council TuesdayDuggan says better publicizing assitance programs is the biggest priority."I still don't think the people in need h...
    Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is promising big changes at the water department, starting with the controversial shutoffs."Certainly it has hurt the reputation of the city," Duggan said. "I have been anxious to do something about it for awhile and I am just glad I have a chance to do it,"Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr handed over the water department to the mayor and City Council TuesdayDuggan says better publicizing assitance programs is the biggest priority."I still don't think the people in need h...
  • Construction worker rescued from massive trench collapse

    Construction worker rescued from massive trench collapse

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:49 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:49:25 GMT
    Construction workers endured some terrifying minutes in a trench they were working at in West Bloomfield Tuesday afternoon."He was completely buried for upwards of three minutes," said Fire Chief Jay Wiseman.Employees of Daniel White Excavating were laying pipe in a trench -- about 100 feet long and 10 feet deep -- when suddenly , the dirt walls began collapsing on a 39-year-old co-worker and covered him."He actually started moving away from it, and an identical collapse occurred just in fron...
    Construction workers endured some terrifying minutes in a trench they were working at in West Bloomfield Tuesday afternoon."He was completely buried for upwards of three minutes," said Fire Chief Jay Wiseman.Employees of Daniel White Excavating were laying pipe in a trench -- about 100 feet long and 10 feet deep -- when suddenly , the dirt walls began collapsing on a 39-year-old co-worker and covered him."He actually started moving away from it, and an identical collapse occurred just in fron...
  • Michigan girl mauled by raccoon receives wave of support

    Michigan girl mauled by raccoon receives wave of support

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:26 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:26:29 GMT
    She told us all she wanted was to wear earrings -- and now she's got a lot of options. We'll show you how Charlotte is healing after surgery to replace her ear... and how you've made a difference. Her story includes a tragic accident, but also a tremendous outpouring of support. The 12-year-old girl from western Michigan who was attacked by a raccoon, shows us how the generosity of others is helping her heal. "This is all the jewelry people sent me," she said. Dozens of pairs of earrings and ...
    She told us all she wanted was to wear earrings -- and now she's got a lot of options. We'll show you how Charlotte is healing after surgery to replace her ear... and how you've made a difference. Her story includes a tragic accident, but also a tremendous outpouring of support. The 12-year-old girl from western Michigan who was attacked by a raccoon, shows us how the generosity of others is helping her heal. "This is all the jewelry people sent me," she said. Dozens of pairs of earrings and ...
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices