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Miller Won’t Challenge Stabenow for Senate

In less than a week, Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) went from mulling President Bush’s entreaties to challenge Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) in 2006 to putting out the word Tuesday that she would not be a candidate for Senate this cycle.

Talk that the former Michigan secretary of state would take on the freshman Stabenow “really wasn’t [at] my impetus,” said Miller, who was just elected to a second term in the House.

“Knowing I wasn’t really interested in it at this time, I wanted to pull the plug on any speculation [quickly],” she said in an interview.

Miller said Republicans are excited about the race because they believe Stabenow is vulnerable.

“This will be a national race,” Miller predicted.

That was highlighted by Bush’s visit last week to Miller’s district and several news stories reporting that Bush asked Miller to run.

Asked whether Miller personally told the president she would decline his offer, Miller said that any discussion she has with him is private.

In a news release announcing her decision, Miller said: “Our party is blessed with many strong candidates who have an outstanding chance of taking back this Senate seat. I think it is important to make this decision early so other candidates can prepare for the campaign ahead. I intend to fully support the nominee of my party to make a positive change for our state and our nation.”

As for who those candidates may be, Miller declined to elaborate, saying only that she would allow them to make announcements on their own timetable.

A former Detroit City Councilman, the Rev. Keith Butler, may seek the Republican nomination.

Other potential GOP candidates include former Rep. Nick Smith (R-Mich.), former Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Betsy DeVos and her husband Dick DeVos, who is the son of Amway Corp. co-founder Rich DeVos.

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