Veteran Michigan congressman Dave Camp has all but ruled out running for an open Senate seat next year. The Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means committee told reporters Thursday morning at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor that he is focused on getting Congress to pass comprehensive tax reform.
“I’m not taking a serious look at the race,” said Camp. When asked by THE WEEKLY STANDARD about his interest in running, the Michigan Republican laughed.
“I thought Sage [Eastman, an aide] told me the goal is to not make any news,” Camp said. “Look, I’ve got a big job. I’m committed to tax reform, and I’m going to work very hard to make it a reality.”
Camp added that there are some “very good people” on the Republican side looking at entering the race, including his House colleague Mike Rogers and former Michigan secretary of state Terri Lynn Land.
“We’ve got some people who are taking a serious look at the race,” Camp said. “I’m pretty busy."
The incumbent senator, Democrat Carl Levin, announced earlier this year that he would not seek reelection. The open race gives the GOP the opportunity to gain a Senate seat in a state that occasionally elects Republicans statewide. One GOP name Camp did not mention was sophomore congressman Justin Amash, the libertarian standard-bearer who has received some recent national press as he considers a Senate run. Camp said he believed Amash was not going to enter the race.
“He has said that he’s not interested in it,” Camp told TWS. “I have been mentioning him, but then I heard he was not interested.”
But Amash spokesman Will Adams said Camp’s information is wrong. “That’s not correct,” Adams said when asked if Amash is no longer considering running for Levin's seat. “There’s no change. He’s still considering it.”