WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Carl Levin's decision to not seek re-election in 2014 has set the stage for a wide-open race to replace the longest-serving senator in Michigan history.
Levin says he wants to do his job as Senate Armed Services chairman and as an advocate for his home state "without the distraction of campaigning for re-election."
Levin was first elected to the Senate in 1978 and is the longest-serving senator in Michigan's history. The 78-year-old lawmaker says in a statement the decision was "extremely difficult."
Levin's retirement creates an open seat for Democrats in a state where Republicans have fared well in recent state elections. Democrats have to defend open seats in West Virginia, Iowa and New Jersey in the aftermath of three retirements.