Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, a Democrat who has served in the Senate for more than 20 years, has said she will not run for reelection in 2024.

“Inspired by a new generation of leaders, I have decided to pass the torch in the U.S. Senate. I am announcing today that I will not seek re-election and will leave the U.S. Senate at the end of my term on January 3, 2025,” Stabenow said in a statement Thursday.

Who is Debbie Stabenow?

Deborah “Debbie” Ann Stabenow was born on April 29, 1950, in Gladwin, Michigan. She is an American politician serving as the senior United States senator from Michigan since 2001.

Stabenow graduated from Clare High School, where she served as the school’s first female class president and served as president of her junior class. She graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1972 and a Master of Social Work with honours in 1975.

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Stabenow is a Democrat who won the 2000 election, unseating incumbent Republican Spencer Abraham to become the state’s first female U.S. senator. She served as the 8th congressional district’s representative in Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 to 2001 before being elected to the Senate. Stabenow formerly held positions in the Michigan State Legislature and on the board of commissioners for Ingham County.

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In 2006, 2012, and 2018, Stabenow won reelection to the Senate. Upon the retirement of Carl Levin in 2015, she was acclaimed as the state’s senior U.S. senator. The Senate Agriculture Committee was presided over by Stabenow from 2011 to 2015 and once again since 2021. In 2017, she was elected to lead the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

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Stabenow is in favour of abortion remaining legal. She backed Michigan Proposal 1, which legalised cannabis for recreational use, in 2018. Stabenow was one of 23 senators who voted against approving the use of military force in Iraq in October 2002.

Stabenow recently announced that she would be retiring from her position as a senior US Senator and not be running for reelection in 2024. She said she wanted to pass down the torch and let the new generation in.