U.S. Senator Carl Levin, a Democrat who has been a strong ally to the LGBT and progressive communities, just announced he will not seek re-election in 2014. The 78-year old a six-term senator serving Michigan.
Senator Levin, in a statement, said he and his wife, Barbara, “decided that I can best serve my state and nation by concentrating in the next two years on the challenging issues before us that I am in a position to help address; in other words, by doing my job without the distraction of campaigning for re-election.”
The Hill notes Senator Levin has “raised little money for a possible reelection.”
His decision will have major ramifications both in Congress and on the campaign trail. Levin has been a towering figure on foreign affairs, chairing the committee from 2001-2003 and again since 2007. Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) is next in line to head the committee.
Although Senator Levin voted for DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act that bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages in 1996, he reversed course and helped secure the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. he currently is a co-sponsor of a bill to repeal DOMA.
Levin also supports ENDA, and voted for the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Of course, the GOP and Tea Party must be planning to run a strong, radical, right wing conservative to tip the balance of the Senate in 2014.
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