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Rep. Elissa Slotkin weighs U.S. Senate bid, talks priorities for 118th Congress

Rep. Elissa Slotkin standing in her campaign office in 2022.
Arjun Thakkar
Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin speaks during a press conference at her campaign’s headquarters in East Lansing, on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022.

With the 118th Congress underway, Representative Elissa Slotkin is laying out her goals under the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives. The Democratic mid-Michigan congresswoman shared her legislative priorities and suggested she may mount a campaign for Michigan's open U.S. Senate seat in 2024.

Slotkin was elected to a third term in last year’s midterm election, defeating Republican state Sen. Tom Barrett in the state's new 7th District. She campaigned on lowering healthcare costs and supporting economic development in the state.

Part of her campaign pitch was recognizing the importance of bipartisanship, an argument that's increasingly important under the House's slim Republican majority.

While Slotkin said she's opposed to bills in the Republican agenda that come across as "frivolous messaging," she acknowledged that she's working to find common ground when possible.

She said she hopes to find agreement with her Republican colleagues on veterans’ issues and reinforcing the nation’s supply chain.

“I’m still going to be working to find those areas of overlap, because that is my job, right is to find things that can turn into law,” Slotkin said.

One initiative the congresswoman supported was a vote to form a select committee on the relationship between the U.S. and China. She said she expects there to be bipartisan agreement around addressing economic competition with the Chinese government.

Slotkin commented on the protracted election of Speaker of the House, noting that her office was unable to assist many of her constituents until a Speaker was chosen and she was officially sworn into office. She said the struggle among House Republicans was a major disruption in the federal government.

"No one felt good about what happened last week," Slotkin said. "I'm glad it's over. I'm glad we at least have a way forward."

The congresswoman also said she is “seriously considering” a bid to represent Michigan in the U.S. Senate in 2024.

Senator Debbie Stabenow’s announcement that she won’t seek another term in the Senate generated mass speculation around who will run for her seat next year. One of the names that keeps coming up on the Democratic side is Rep. Slotkin.

Slotkin represents mid-Michigan, the same region Stabenow once did before being elected to the Senate.

Slotkin called Stabenow's decision "an earthquake in Michigan politics." She said she’s interested in taking her pitch of strengthening Michigan’s economy across the state.

"To do that at the state level certainly interests me, and so I'm taking a hard look at it, but it's not a simple decision," Slotkin said. "It's not easy. It shouldn't be taken lightly."

She said she plans to take her time before making a decision on whether to run for Senate.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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