FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a Democratic candidate in the closely watched 2024 U.S. Senate race in Michigan, has had a change of heart toward one of her Republican opponents who she previously praised and said she “would never” run against.
“It’s important Michiganders understand exactly who Mike Rogers is: He was on the Trump national security transition team, and was in talks to be Trump’s FBI Director, but then got fired. Then he became a critic of Trump,” Slotkin said in a Wednesday fundraising email, just hours after former Republican Rep. Mike Rogers launched his campaign.
“Regardless of his record on Trump, he’s a true conservative. He supports an extreme nationwide abortion ban with no exceptions for rape, incest, or common miscarriage; he voted to cut Social Security and Medicare; and, with an A rating from the NRA, he voted to *expand* access to guns. He represented a version of my current congressional district, 4 years before I flipped it – but with a different set of values,” she added.
Former Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich. Both are candidates running to replace retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.(Getty Images)
Her emailed statement ran in stark contrast to her previous praise of Rogers, including that she was “proud” to have him representing her district. Slotkin previously served as a CIA officer and briefed Rogers while he served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which he led until his retirement in 2015.
“I remember being kind of proud that he was the congressman from back home, and Michigan, and had a very strong national security background,” Slotkin told the Lansing City Pulse in June 2018 amid her first congressional run.
“I tell people very openly that I would never be running in this race if Mike Rogers were the congressman because he had offices all over the district. He was engaging people. He had a strong presence on Capitol Hill that was bringing things back to the district. And that, to me, is the core thing. I don’t have to agree with everything he believed in to know that he was working hard for the district,” she added.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., leaves the U.S. Capitol after the last votes of the week on Thursday, July 20, 2023.(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
On another occasion in July 2018, Slotkin praised Rogers as “different” than his Republican successor, then-Rep. Mike Bishop, and lauded his maintaining an office in what she called the “populist” part of Michigan’s 8th Congressional District.
Slotkin ultimately defeated Bishop in her 2018 race and represented Rogers’ former district until the state’s congressional map was redrawn following the 2020 census. She has represented the 7th Congressional District since.
When reached for comment, Rogers’ campaign was appreciative of Slotkin’s prior support.
“Mike Rogers is working hard to earn the support of every Michigander. We’re happy to hear the congresswoman agrees that Mike is the most qualified candidate for the U.S. Senate,” campaign communications director Chris Gustafson said.
Former Representative Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, speaks during the Palmetto Family Council’s Vision 24 national conservative policy forum in North Charleston, South Carolina, US, on Saturday, March 18, 2023.(Sam Wolfe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Slotkin’s campaign did not respond to Fox’s request for comment.
The race is expected to be one of the most closely watched of the 2024 election cycle, and will likely help determine which party ultimately controls the Senate.