Democrats will have another Senate seat to contest in the 2014 elections: Carl Levin said today he won't seek re-election, reports the Detroit News. The 78-year-old has been in the Senate since 1979 and currently serves as chair of the powerful Armed Services Committee. "I can best serve my state and my nation by concentrating in the next two years on the challenging issues before us," he wrote in a statement. "In other words, by doing my job without the distraction of campaigning for re-election.”
Michigan seats are generally safe territory for Democrats, notes the Detroit Free Press, which says Levin "has been a force for progressivism in the Senate." But the National Review previously reported that an intriguing GOP candidate, congressman Justin Amash, might be interested in running if Levin retired. The conservative Amash, 32, has a libertarian streak and has quarreled publicly with GOP leaders. He even voted against John Boehner's re-election as speaker. "Many Ron Paul supporters see him as a libertarian leader for a new generation," says the NRO piece.