The race begins for Dave Camp's seat

Michigan state Sen. John Moolenaar (R) is jumping into the race to succeed House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), who announced on Monday he'll retire from Congress at the end of his term.

Moolenaar is the first candidate to jump in since Camp announced his retirement; he could face a competitive race in the GOP-leaning seat.

"I will be a strong conservative voice for the hard working families of mid and northern Michigan," Moolenaar said in a statement announcing his bid. "In Michigan, we have started to pay down our unfunded liabilities, continue to balance our budgets and are reducing unnecessary regulations on job providers. I look forward to bringing the same common sense approach we have in Lansing to Washington."

Other Republicans to watch for the race include Michigan Republican Party Finance Chairman Paul Mitchell, Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, state Sens. Roger Kahn, Judy Emmons and Darwin Booher, state Rep. Kevin Cotter and conservative activist Gary Glenn, whose potential candidacy has some Republicans worried.

Michigan Secretary of State Bill Schuette has also been mentioned as a potential candidate, but a Schuette spokeswoman tells The Hill he's unlikely to run for the seat.

Democrats hope they can land a centrist to compete for the seat, which President Obama won by a narrow margin in 2008 but lost by 8 points last year.

They've floated Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel (D) and former state Reps. Dale Sheltrown (D) Joel Sheltrown (D) as possible candidates.

Candidates better move fast — the filing deadline is April 22, three weeks away. 

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