Long-time Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow made headlines last month by announcing that she will not be running for reelection in 2024.
While there are many questions surrounding who will replace her, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg just made clear that it won’t be him.
Buttigieg insists he is “110%” focused on his current job
According to the Washington Examiner, Buttigieg recently said during an interview with Punchbowl News that he considers serving as Department of Transportation secretary to be a “privilege” which takes up “110%” of his attention.
“I love this job, and I feel like we’re right in the middle of the action,” Buttigieg declared. “This is a job that I think is the best job in the federal government.”
“It’s been very challenging dealing with a lot of issues, especially COVID-related issues that affect everything from container shipping to airline cancellations,” the Transportation secretary continued.
Stabenow says it’s time to “pass the torch” to “a new generation of leaders”
“But also, there’s not been a better time for transportation in — I would argue in our lifetime because we have this historical bipartisan infrastructure law,” Buttigieg declared.
The Examiner noted that Buttigieg came under intense criticism late last year following a wave of Christmas-time airline cancellations.
For her part, Stabenow released a statement on January 5 in which she spoke of feeling “inspired by a new generation of leaders” as well as having a desire “to pass the torch in the U.S. Senate.”
Inspired by a new generation of leaders, I have decided to pass the torch in the U.S. Senate. I am announcing today that I will not seek re-election and will leave the U.S. Senate at the end of my term on January 3, 2025.
Read my full statement:https://t.co/qYJE6lyRJ3 pic.twitter.com/Fq659Aevs0
— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (@SenStabenow) January 5, 2023
Michigan could be another vulnerable spot for Democrats next year
However, the veteran senator promised to remain “intensely focused on continuing this important work to improve the lives of Michiganders.”
“This includes leading the passage of the next five-year Farm Bill which determines our nation’s food and agriculture policies,” she insisted.
Stabenow’s departure could provide a pickup opportunity for Republicans in a year that many observers expect to be difficult for Democrats.
Fox News contributor Sophia Slacik pointed out in an opinion piece late last year that red and swing state Democratic Senate incumbents are facing uphill battles in West Virginia, Montana, Ohio, and Arizona.