I'm shocked. I thought Levin would be like Byrd, Kennedy, and Thurmond and stay in office until he is completely unable to do so. Our rights are a whole lot safer with that gun grabber out of there. I'll be raising a glass tonight toasting to his retirement.
The question is the resulting domino effect from this. So far we know:
Clark Durant - Ran in 2010 primary - Apparently not running
Candice Miller - MI-10 incumbent - Apparently not running
Bill Schuette - AG - Probably not running
Possible candidates I've heard:
Justin Amash - MI-03 incumbent, former state rep
My gut says he's running. He's a libertarian leaning republican in many respects, and with Rand Paul's fillibuster and his problems with house GOP leadership, this is an opening that I can him taking. Can he win? I think he could, if he can keep the more mouthy backers in check. Amash wasn't the strongest guy in MI-03, but that's a matchup issue more than anything else. MI-03 is one of the more establishment friendly districts. Right now, there's an opening for someone like him. The party is split, and a lot of people in the base - not just campaign for liberty - not just tea party - but even regular republicans - are disgusted at DC leadership and the lack of fight right now towards Obama - especially on fiscal issues.
Mike Rogers - MI-08 incumbent, former state senate
I haven't heard anything one way or the other about Mike running. I think he may our strongest possible candidate. He always runs ahead of the ticket in this district, gets extra votes out of both Livingston and Ingham (sometimes wins there) Counties. He won a very tough election in 2000 so he's had tough races.
Terri Lynn Land - Former Sec of State
She won statewide twice easily and would have a lot of West Michigan support.
Roger Kahn - State Senator (Termed out)
He won a tough district twice that covered all of Saginaw County. He's a doctor as well. I'm not sure he'd get past the primary or has the name recognition, but I can see him running, especially if Dave Camp makes a statewide run later.
Brian Calley - Lt Gov
I think there's a better chance of him going for an open MI-03 spot if Amash runs. A lot of people just don't know the Lt Governor in Michigan.
Ruth Johnson - Sec of State, former Oakland Clerk
She could be a strong candidate, but her top issues are perfect of Sec of State. Election reform.
Gary Peters - MI-14 incumbent, formerly MI-09 incumbent, previously AG candidate and state senator:
Peters is 1/2 step ahead of generic democrat. That's not meant as an insult. He's not going to blunder and offend people, but he's not going to stick out as a star candidate. He's cautious. He had a solid D state senate district in the 90's which included Southfield and Pontiac. He lost his AG race to Mike Cox by 5500 votes. The old MI-09 scared me back in 02 because I knew it was on borrowed time. Joe Knollenberg was strong under the 2006 wave hit. He survived it bruised and battered and Peters finished the job in 2008 with the collapse. Peters showed some strength in 2010 surviving that wave against Rocky Raczkowski. His district was carved up in redistricting. He won a dem primary against Hansen Clarke for the MI-14 district. Most expect Peters to run for either Senate or Governor. That will open up MI-14.
Mark Schauer - Former MI-07 incumbent, former state rep and state senator. I can't stand how he votes hard left while pretending to be a moderate, but when it comes to campaigns, he knows how to win. He won a swing/lean dem district out of Battle Creek. That was before that district had Albion in it. Mike Nofs (R) replaced Schauer who replaced a different Republican. Schauer ran for the open State Senate district (Calhoun and part of Jackson County) in 2002 and it wasn't close. He beat Mickey Mortimer, who wasn't a pushover. Schauer rode the 2008 wave to beat an abandoned Tim Walberg by 3 points, before losing to Walberg in a 2010 rematch by about 5-6%. Schauer was at the big union protests, so I think he's running for something, whether it be governor or senate. My gut says that Peters will run for one office and Schauer the other.
Jennifer Granholm - The "Matt Millen" of Governors. I'll be surprised if she runs, but I hope she is the nominee. I think between Peters, Schauer, Dianne Byrum, Whitmer, and Granholm - she'll be the easiest to beat due to being the Matt Millen of Governors.
I've heard some possible speculation about Mike Duggan, one of the Byrums, and Gretchen Whitmer. I doubt Duggan would run against Peters or Schauer. I think Duggan's going to try and be the Great White Hope of Detroit with the ghost of Ed McNamara and Ficano. I think Whitmer would be a strong candidate, but she declined to run previously due to young kids. If she declined a gubernatorial run in her home Lansing area, then I'll be surprised if she wants to move her kids to DC. The Byrums are well known in the Lansing area and wouldn't be pushovers, but I think Schauer or Peters is stronger, at least right now.
One of the interesting things about this is what happens if these candidates all run (which I don't expect) is more open seats.
Sec of State - If this opens up, we'll be electing our nominee at the 2014 GOP State Convention in August/September. A lot of people ran for this in 2010.
Lt Gov - If this opens up, we'll be electing our nominee at the 2014 GOP State Convention in August/September. Historically, the governor nominee picks his Lt Gov, but there was a push by West Michigan tea parties in 2010 for MI-02 congressional candidate and businessman Bill Cooper.
MI-03 - There's a strong GOP bench here with Kent County. Too many names to mention. Mike Nofs is in Calhoun County, and Brian Calley is I believe in Ionia County. The dems don't have a deep bench, but Mark Schauer is now here, as is Kate Segal.
MI-08 - Stronger bench for the GOP. Joe Hune, Bill Rogers, Cindy Denby, Brad Jacobsen, Jim Marleau, Ruth Johnson, Mike Bishop, and Tom McMillin for GOP. The dems have a bench in the Lansing area. Gretchen Whitmer, the Byrums, Dave Hollister, and a few state reps.
MI-14 - VRA District. Safe dem. Brenda Lawrence in Southfield, and a bunch of Detroit dems. Hansen Clarke previously held the seat. I wouldn't count out Kwame Kilpatrick.
It's going to be interesting.