Rep. Gary Peters will announce this week that he's running to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin, sources tell The Hotline, giving Democrats another top recruit in a state critical to their hopes of keeping the Senate next year.
Peters, a three-term Democrat from the Detroit suburbs, will be the first major party candidate to jump in the race. And he's likely to have the Democratic primary to himself; Debbie Dingell, the long-time party activist who had been considering a race of her own, said two weeks ago she wouldn't run for Levin's seat.
Democrats will be quick to point out that Peters first won a seat in Congress by ousting Republican Joe Knollenberg in a swing district based in Oakland County, and that he survived the 2010 wave when just about every contested race in Michigan that year broke for Republicans by wide margins.
A Peters spokeswoman wouldn't confirm an announcement was imminent. "Gary is grateful for the encouragement from so many folks across Michigan. He is weighing this decision with his family, and they will let everyone know soon," said Haley Morris, Peters' spokeswoman.
Democratic sources in both Washington and Michigan, who asked not to be named because no official announcement had been made, said Peters would use this week's district work period to launch his campaign.
Republicans have yet to settle on a candidate of their own. Both Reps. Mike Rogers and Justin Amash are considering a bid. National Republicans would prefer to see Rogers in the race, but Rogers didn't pay for polling in the last quarter of the year, according to reports filed with the FEC, and he only raised $166,000 between January and March, hardly a sign of a candidate gearing up for a Senate race (However, Rogers ended the quarter with more than $1.4 million in the bank, compared with the $813,000 Peters had on hand).
Former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, businessman John Rakolta -- the CEO of Walbridge who served as a national finance chairman for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign -- and Saul Anuzis, the one-time Michigan Republican Party chairman, have all expressed varying degrees of interest.