LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A former Republican congressman has thrown his hat into the ring to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Mike Rogers, who represented a district that included Ingham, Livingston and northern Oakland Counties, is officially in the race for the Republican nomination for Senate.  The 60-year-old served in the state legislature before launching a career in D.C. While in D.C., he led the House Intelligence Committee.

Former Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., speaks at the Vision ’24 conference’ on March 18, 2023, in North Charleston, S.C. Rogers is expected to soon announce a bid for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2024. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)

He is also a former FBI agent. He was born and raised in Livingston County. He is also a U.S. Army Veteran.

“Michigan’s way of life is worth defending,” Rogers said, pointing to his work on the Intelligence panel post-9/11, as well his time with the FBI and in the Army. “I left politics to build cybersecurity companies that can stop foreign threats like China. I thought I put politics behind me, but like you, I know something’s broken.”

Rogers went on to tick off a litany of issues he sees stemming from the Biden administration, including on immigration, the economy, education and the justice system.

“Politics has gotten so small and so petty. We’re failing to address big problems,” Rogers said, pointing to the effort by progressives to “ban gas stoves” while families are struggling while China is stealing intellectual property. 

“We can do better,” said Rogers. “No candidate is better prepared to have an impact on Day 1. I’m ready to serve again.”  

Rogers is the first prominent Republican to announce a campaign in the eight months that have elapsed between Stabenow’s retirement announcement. In March, Rogers hinted he might run for the GOP nomination President.

On the Democratic side, Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin has choked off any competition so far. She’s considered a moderate Democrat who is representing Michigan’s new 7th Congressional District. She originally represented the old 8th Congressional District, where Rogers served for 14 years. She is a former CIA agent who briefed the administrations of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

“Michigan Republicans’ nasty primary will leave them with a badly damaged nominee who is out of touch with Michigan families and will struggle in the general election,” Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes said in a statement Wednesday morning. “Retread Mike Rogers quit on Michigan nearly a decade ago, but he won’t be able to hide from his record: pushing the interests of China and big corporations at the expense of working families, putting Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block, and even backing an abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest.”

Al Weaver of The Hill contributed to this story.