Michigan lawmakers Mallory McMorrow, John James say they won't run for open Senate seat

Two more potential candidates for Michigan's open U.S. Senate seat confirmed Friday they would not be running.

Amid speculation about who could run for outgoing Senator Debbie Stabenow's seat in Congress, both state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) and U.S. Congressman John James, a Republican from the 10th District, will not campaign.

McMorrow announced her decision on Twitter, while John James filed paperwork Friday to run for reelection in his current seat. 

James, who has already run for U.S. Senate twice before winning in the race for U.S. House of Representatives, was seen as a potential contender for the seat from the GOP. In his most recent statewide race, he lost to Michigan's other senator Gary Peters in 2020 by 1.7 points.

Instead, the 41-year-old military veteran will resume work in Macomb County-centric district. 

While Michigan has been considered a battleground state in recent presidential elections, only Democrats have won statewide races for office since 2018. Repeat wins by Democrats in races for governor, secretary of state, and attorney general solidified Michigan's status as a lean-blue state during the 2022 midterm.

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Democratic wins continued in the state legislature as well after both chambers flipped to progressives. It's that landscape that McMorrow says she wants to continue working in.

"In Michigan, we’ll demonstrate what’s possible when we elect Democrats. We’ll show what state legislatures can do,  and create a state where everyone is welcome, protected, and able to thrive," she wrote on Twitter. "That’s why I’m exactly where I need to be, and why I won’t run for US Senate in 2024."

She outlined current efforts like a new tax relief package, LGBTQ discrimination, and gun safety measures.

Other potential candidates for office like Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller and U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens have also bowed out of contention. 

One official has more than just implied her interest for the open seat is Elissa Slotkin, the Michigan Congresswoman who has won three consecutive races in the state's most competitive district.