WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, announced today he will not seek re-election in 2014.
"This decision was extremely difficult because I love representing the people of Michigan in the U.S. Senate and fighting for the things that I believe are important to them," Levin said.
Levin, 78, was first elected to the Senate in 1978 - after serving on the Detroit City Council and as assistant attorney general counsel of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission - and re-elected five times, the latest in 2008.
In the Senate, Levin has served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
He said as he and his wife, Barbara, struggled with the question of whether he should run for another term, the couple focused on their belief that the country "is at a crossroads that will determine our economic health and security for decades to come."
"We decided that I can best serve my state and nation by concentrating in the next two years on the challenging issues before us that I am in a position to help address; in other words, by doing my job without the distraction of campaigning for re-election," Levin said.
Levin said he wants work on ending tax avoidance schemes, ensuring that the manufacting renaissance that has led Michigan's comeback continues, battling the use of secret money to fund political campaigns and dealing with fiscal pressures on the country's military readiness.
"These issues will have an enormous impact on the people of Michigan and the nation for years to come, and we need to confront them," Levin said. "I can think of no better way to spend the next two years than to devote all of my energy and attention to taking on these challenges."
John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.