Senate

Mich. Sen. Carl Levin Won't Run for Re-election

Has been in Senate since 1979

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U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, who has been a force for progressivism in the Senate since 1979 and made his mark in recent years as chairman of the powerful Armed Services Committee, will not run for re-election next year, likely setting off a political avalanche of interest in the seat.

Levin, 78, released a statement Thursday afternoon saying he made the decisions believing "I can best serve my state and my nation by concentrating in the next two years on the challenging issues before us … in other words, by doing my job without the distraction of campaigning for re-election."

Speculation had been running high that Levin might decide not to run for reelection, but Levin had repeatedly said he hadn't made up his mind. Last month, his office staff knocked down speculation that he might not seek a seventh 6-year term in 2014 after filing a small fundraising report for the last quarter of 2012.