Any list of political icons in Michigan starts with U.S Senator Carl Levin.
Bill Ballanger with Inside Michigan Politics says under Levin's watch, the U.S Senate seat in our state was safely democratic.
"In the last 42 years a Republican has won a U.S Senate seat only once and that was only for a single term for six years," Ballenger said.
Otherwise Michigan's two Senate seats have belonged to Democrats.
And Ballenger says it doesn't matter if his replacement, Democrat or Republican, Levin stepping down will hurt the state as a whole.
"They're not going to be chairman of the armed services committee and they're not going to be fifth in seniority in the Senate and Michigan is going to lose a lot of clout in the U.S Senate and Congress, compared to when Carl Levin was there."
But Bobby Schostak, Michigan's Republican Chair says it's time the state puts a Republican in that seat.
"I trust they will see it that way, one with conservative values, one with values that represent Michigan, values that will help get the U.S Senate back on track," Schostak said.
And needless to say, Chairman Schostak isn't worried about the state's representation or losing Levin's 35 years of experience.
"I'm not sure how much he did for Michigan, will see what the next U.S Senator with a Republican label with him or her and I expect it will be much more than what Senator Levin did for Michigan."
But no matter which side of the aisle Levin's successor comes from, there's little doubt replacing Senator Levin will mean replacing a political legend. @
LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Democratic Senator Carl Levin says he will not seek re-election in 2014. He says he wants to do his job as Senate Armed Services chairman and as an advocate for his home state "without the distraction of campaigning for re-election."
Levin was first elected to the Senate in 1978 and is the longest-serving senator in Michigan's history. The 78-year-old lawmaker says in a statement the decision was "extremely difficult." He says he loves representing the people of Michigan and fighting for what he believes is important for them.
Levin's retirement creates an open seat for Democrats in a state where Republicans have fared well in recent state elections. Democrats have to defend open seats in West Virginia, Iowa and New Jersey in the aftermath of three retirements.
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