Editor’s note: This file has been updated with the correct party affiliations for Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.).
Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) on Wednesday announced his bid for the U.S. Senate, making him the first prominent Republican to launch a campaign to replace the retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).
Rogers, who served seven terms in the House and atop the House Intelligence Committee before retiring in 2014, rolled out his campaign with a video centered on his work in the state and in national security. He said he has unfinished business to complete for Michigan.
“Michigan’s way of life is worth defending,” Rogers said, pointing to his work on the Intelligence panel post-9/11, as well his time with the FBI and in the Army. “I left politics to build cybersecurity companies that can stop foreign threats like China. I thought I put politics behind me, but like you, I know something’s broken.”
Rogers went on to tick off a litany of issues he sees stemming from the Biden administration, including immigration, the economy, education and the justice system.
“Politics has gotten so small and so petty. We’re failing to address big problems,” Rogers said, pointing to the effort by progressives to “ban gas stoves” while families are struggling while China is stealing intellectual property.
“We can do better,” said Rogers. “No candidate is better prepared to have an impact on Day 1. I’m ready to serve again.”
Rogers’s entry gives Michigan Republicans, who have been desperate for some good news after years of turmoil with the state’s GOP, a potential political win. They’ve had trouble piggybacking off former President Trump’s win there seven years ago and had yet to produce a strong candidate to likely take on Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), the likely Democratic nominee, next year.
Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), chairman of the Senate GOP campaign arm, said in a statement he is “pleased to see” Rogers jumping in the contest.
“Mike Rogers has devoted his life to serving the people of Michigan and holding communist China accountable. Mike is the type of candidate who can perform well with suburban Michiganders and be a strong part of the eventual ticket in Michigan. I am pleased to see Mike stepping up to run for the U.S. Senate,” Daines said.
A bid by former Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) could also be on the horizon. He launched an exploratory committee to examine a possible run last week. Meijer was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump over his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, and subsequently lost his bid for reelection to the House.
John Tuttle, the vice chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, has also been considering a bid for Stabenow’s seat.
Rogers was one of the most prominent House GOP members during his tenure in office and was a presence on the Sunday talk shows. He has since served as a CNN national security analyst and started a national security consulting business. He had been kicking around a long-shot bid for the presidency earlier this year.
Still, Rogers will have to contend with multiple questions in the coming months, including whether he has been out of the political game too long, having largely sat out the Trump years.
The former FBI agent will also have to answer for his past criticisms of the ex-president and the current leader for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. Rogers last year said Republicans needed to move on from Trump and that the ex-president’s political tactics are “destructive.”
“Trump’s time has passed,” Rogers told The Washington Post last year.
Updated at 6:39 a.m.