Garlin Gilchrist 'thinking about' run for U.S. Senate, lieutenant governor says

Among the political figures considering a run for Michigan's open senate seat is the state's lieutenant governor, who expressed interest a week after Debbie Stabenow announced she would be retiring.

Garlin Gilchrist said he and his wife were "thinking about" a run for the seat in 2024 when asked during an interview with Stephen Henderson Tuesday afternoon.

"I didn't expect the senator to announce that she wasn't going to seek reelection," he said.

Stabenow's announcement opened up a vacuum that was accompanied by a groundswell of speculation about who among Michigan's political class could make a run for the seat. The slim margins in the U.S. Senate make every seat important to the balance of power in Washington.

Some names that were floated early on like Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer quickly poured cold water on the notion of them running. But several lawmakers in the House of Representatives like Elissa Slotkin and Haley Stevens are said to be weighing a run.

Democrats have enjoyed victories in statewide races going back to 2018 when candidates for governor, attorney general, and secretary of state all won. Both Stabenow and Democrat Gary Peters have also defended their seats in that time. 

Even so, Republicans also see the opportunity for an open seat as appetizing since there won't be an incumbent running - assuming Stabenow doesn't resign before her term ends. 

So far, 10th District Rep. John James and former Secretary of State Ruth Johnson have both been floated as potential contenders.