LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Former state Rep. Leslie Love, a Democrat who represented Detroit for six years in the Michigan Legislature, announced Monday that she is running for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2024.

Love served in the Michigan House from 2015 to 2020, when she retired due to term limits. She joined the state’s Natural Resource Committee in 2021 before stepping down last week to pursue a Senate campaign.

“This election is about more than who raises the most money,” Love said in statement. “We want to demonstrate to people that government can work when we elect a leader from the people, by the people, who puts the people first.”

Love joins a small crowd of Democratic candidates, including businessman Nasser Beydoun and lawyer Zack Burns, who will contend with U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin in the primary. A third term representative in one of the country’s most competitive districts, Slotkin, the most high-profile name in the race, raised $3 million in the first month of her campaign after announcing in February.

If elected, Love would be Michigan’s first black Senator. She is also from Detroit, a city without Black representation in Congress for the first time since the early 1950s following four-term U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence’s retirement last year.

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Longtime Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow shocked many in the state in January when she announced she would not seek a fifth term and would retire at the end of next year, leaving an open Senate seat in one of the country’s premier battlegrounds. Stabenow has said she will not endorse in the Democratic primary.

Republicans Michael Hoover and Nikki Snyder, a State Board of Education member, are also running for the seat. Republicans have taken just one of Michigan’s last 15 Senate races, winning an open seat in 1994.

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