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Cross Michigan House Minority Leader Kevin Elsenheimer (R) off the list of possible candidates for Bart Stupak’s 1st district seat.

A spokesman for Elsenheimer told the Associated Press on Tuesday afternoon that he had decided against a run for the seat. Stupak announced Friday he was retiring after his current term, throwing the race wide open.

State Sen. Jason Allen is another leading Republican seriously looking at the seat, and he plans to make a decision in the coming days. Several other first-time GOP candidates are already in the race, including surgeon Dan Benishek.

On the Democratic side, state Rep. Joel Sheltrown announced he would seek the party’s nomination, joining former Charlevoix County Commissioner Connie Saltonstall in the primary and setting up what could be a battle between Democrats on either side of the abortion issue.

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