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Gary Peters Leads Poll, Hires Campaign Manager #MISEN

Peters is running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Peters is running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Rep. Gary Peters has a campaign manager and a lead in the polls — but he’s still awaiting a GOP opponent for the open-seat Senate race in Michigan.

With the Republican field likely to begin to take shape next month, the third-term Democrat announced on Tuesday that Julie Petrick has signed on as campaign manager. Petrick managed Peters’ first election to Congress in 2008 and is coming from the political team at EMILY’s List.

In the race for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, the 14th District’s Peters took an early lead in a hypothetical matchup with the 8th District’s GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, who is considering a bid. The poll was conducted by EPIC-MRA and found Peters with a 7-point lead, though a third of voters were undecided.

Michigan political newsletter MIRS reported last week that Rogers will likely announce his decision next month. Former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land told CQ Roll Call on Tuesday she is sticking with her plan to announce by June 1.

“If he does decide to run, then I will sit down and talk with him to make sure he’s committed and wants to do this,” Land said. “I know what a huge state this is, and I know what it takes to run statewide — I’ve done it a few times. I realize he’s a congressperson, but it’s a whole different program running statewide than it is in a congressional seat.”

Rogers and Land were the top two finishers in a separate poll released on Tuesday that tested nine possible candidates in a Republican primary. The poll, conducted by Murray Communications-Portable Insights-Combat Data, found Rogers ahead with 36 percent, followed by Land with 29 percent, and 3rd District Rep. Justin Amash and Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra with 10 percent each.

Amash has given no timetable on a decision and has said only that he is considering running.

Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates this race as Safe Democratic.

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