Ex-House Intel Chairman Mike Rogers launches run for Senate in Michigan

Mike Rogers
Former Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., speaks at the Vision ’24 conference’ on March 18, 2023, in North Charleston, S.C. Rogers is expected to soon announce a bid for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2024. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File) Meg Kinnard/AP

Ex-House Intel Chairman Mike Rogers launches run for Senate in Michigan

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Former Rep. Mike Rogers announced a run for Senate in Michigan on Wednesday, becoming the first high-profile Republican to vie for the seat of retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

The GOP field has remained somewhat open in the eight months since Stabenow announced she would step down at the end of her fourth term, raising questions over whether Republicans could recruit a top-tier candidate to challenge the odds-on favorite for the Democratic nomination, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI).


Rogers, who served in the House for seven terms before going into the private sector, had spurned the idea of running for Senate, instead stoking months of speculation that he would mount a White House bid. He made his change of heart official on Wednesday, releasing an announcement video painting himself as a ready-on-day-one conservative who would challenge the Biden agenda on Capitol Hill.

“We can do better. That’s why I’m running for the United States Senate, to get government out of the way, unleash American innovation, and take common sense back to Washington,” he said in the straight-to-camera video.

Rogers, who chaired the House Intelligence Committee for four years, returns to politics as a traditional Republican navigating a post-Trump world. He retired from the House in 2015, months before the business mogul announced his 2016 run for the GOP nomination for president.

Rogers only made a passing allusion to Trump, denouncing the Justice Department’s prosecution of the former president on Wednesday as an example of Washington run amok. He otherwise leaned into political flashpoints, among them the border, President Joe Biden’s handling of the economy, and the “social engineering” he says has become prevalent in schools.

“I thought I put politics behind me, but like you, I know something’s broken,” he said in the announcement video. “America under Biden and his cronies is going in the wrong direction.”

Rogers, despite running in a state where he spent years building up his name ID, enters the race at a disadvantage. No Republican has won a Senate seat in Michigan since 1994.

National Republicans nonetheless consider it a pickup opportunity after their 2020 candidate, John James, came within 2 points of unseating Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI).

The National Republican Senatorial Committee encouraged Rogers to run, according to a source familiar, though he may not have the field to himself.

Former Republican Rep. Peter Meijer, who lost his primary last year after voting to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, announced last week that he is forming an exploratory committee for a possible run.

Slotkin, who has twice won reelection in a swing district outside of Detroit, herself faces a primary challenge from Democrats such as actor Hill Harper; however, she has establishment backing and a hefty war chest — she raised $6 million in the first four months of her campaign.


A handful of lesser-known Republicans have entered the primary, including Nikki Snyder, a member of the Michigan State Board of Education.

On the campaign trail, Rogers is expected to lean into his background as an Army veteran and the years he spent as an FBI special agent investigating organized crime. He had been considered for the role of FBI director under Trump but was passed over for the current bureau chief, Christopher Wray.

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