WASHINGTON — Former Rep. Mike Rogers is formally launching a bid for Michigan’s open Senate seat after months of being courted by top Republicans.
“No candidate is better prepared to have an impact on day one,” Rogers said, touting his law enforcement background in a video announcement Wednesday. “I’m ready to serve again.”
Rogers, 60, is the first prominent Republican to jump into the race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow. GOP leaders hope that Rogers — a Michigan native and former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — will help the party gain control of the Senate in next year’s election.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee embraced Rogers’ entrance into the competitive race. NRSC leaders have worked to secure his candidacy in the only swing-state pickup opportunity for Republicans this election cycle.
“Mike Rogers has devoted his life to serving the people of Michigan and holding communist China accountable,” NRSC Chairman Steve Daines, R-Mont., said in a statement. “Mike is the type of candidate who can perform well with suburban Michiganders and be a strong part of the eventual ticket in Michigan.”
Four other Republicans have declared their candidacies. Former Rep. Peter Meijer, who lost his primary last year after he voted to impeach former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 riot, is also considering a run, as first reported by the Detroit Free Press. Meijer filed paperwork late last week and confirmed the launch of his exploratory committee in a message to NBC News.
Many Democrats view Rep. Elissa Slotkin, 47, as their party’s leading contender. But first she has to win a primary that includes local officials and actor Hill Harper.
Rogers boasts a competitive résumé compared to Slotkin, a former CIA analyst who also worked at the Defense Department. Before he was elected to Congress, Rogers spent years as an officer in the Army and as a special agent with the FBI. He served seven terms in Congress, starting in 2001, and decided not to seek re-election in 2014.
Democrats have held both of Michigan’s Senate seats for more than two decades, and the state has been trending to the left after Trump’s victory there in 2016. President Joe Biden won the state in 2020.
In a campaign release, Rogers took aim at the Justice Department in an apparent nod to Trump’s multiple indictments.
“We have a broken system of justice,” Rogers said. “One for the DC elites and one for the rest of us.”
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com