By Cameron Joseph – The Hill
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) on Friday announced he won’t run for the Senate in 2014, denying the GOP a top recruit for the open-seat race.
“After much thought and careful consideration, I have decided not to run for the United States Senate,” Camp said in a statement. “I will continue to put my full focus and effort on serving my constituents in mid- and northern-Michigan as their representative and as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.”
Camp had said he was considering a run for retiring Sen. Carl Levin’s (D-Mich.) seat, exciting Republicans in Michigan who had grown pessimistic about their party’s chances in the race.
The decision hurts Republicans’ odds of winning Senate control. Michigan, along with Iowa, are their best chances of expanding the map by winning open seats in swing states, but they’ve struggled with recruiting in both places.
If Republicans fail to win the seats in Iowa and Michigan, they would need to defeat three of four Democratic incumbents in red states in order to win Senate control.
Democrats have rallied around Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), while the top Republican option at this point is former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R), who has failed to excite many Republicans.
Camp’s decision could bolster his push for tax reform with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (R-Mont.). Mounting a statewide campaign would have likely required Camp to spend more time away from his role as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, which is crafting tax reform legislation.