Hertel weighs congressional campaign — just not against Slotkin

Term-limited Lansing senator weighs options with new website domains

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WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 — Two newly registered website domain names suggest that Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., D-East Lansing, is planning to run for the U.S. House of Representatives. Exactly when and where, however, remains to be seen. Hertel said he isn’t even sure what his next move will be.

“Obviously, my time in the state Senate is coming to an end. There are possibilities that may come up, but one thing I can say for sure: I have no interest in running against Elissa Slotkin,” Hertel told City Pulse today. U.S. Rep. Slotkin, D-Holly, was just elected to a second term representing the 8th Congressional District, which includes all of Ingham County.

“I’ve made absolutely no decisions about running for Congress,” Hertel said.

Hertel confirmed that his campaign team thought it would be a “good idea” to register  domain names, which was done Nov. 29. Perhaps Slotkin — whom The New York Times identified Friday as a contender for CIA director — will find a job in the Biden administration, Hertel speculated. Perhaps redrawn congressional districts in 2022 will change the landscape.

“We’re walking into something that has never happened,” Hertel said. “A fair drawing of districts could change things up. At the end of gerrymandering, districts could radically change. If there was a seat drawn in a way in which Slotkin wasn’t interested in running, I’d take a look at it.”

Slotkin has won twice in a district considered Republican. This year, President Trump carried her district, as he did in 2016.

After Michigan voters passed the “Voters Not Politicians” proposal in 2018, an independent statewide citizens’ commission on redistricting will be empowered to redraw Slotkin’s district for 2022.

Some speculated that some legislative districts, as a result, will become more competitive.

Michigan’s 8th Congressional District has the potential to lose some of its rural, conservative voter base.

“There’s not even a seat out there that I could run in right now,” Hertel added. “This is about keeping options open. I love public service. I care about people. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do next, except I can say for sure that I won’t be running any campaigns against Elissa Slotkin.”

Records from the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers shows the domain names of curtishertelforcongress.com and curtisforcongress.com were registered Nov. 29. Due to term limits, Hertel is ineligible for reelection to the Senate in 2022, the same year Slotkin’s term ends. However, Hertel could run for a slot in the state House of Representatives, where he has never served.

Hertel, 42, a Michigan State University graduate, has served on the Senate committees for appropriations, health policy, commerce, regulatory reform, banking and financial institutions, and the appropriations subcommittee for higher education, among other leadership roles.

He and his wife, Elizabeth, live in East Lansing with four children.

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