Top Dem recruit opts not to run for Rogers seat

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum (D) has turned down Democratic entreaties to run for retiring Rep. Mike Rogers's (R-Mich.) seat, leaving the party without a candidate in the potentially competitive seat.

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Byrum, who was in D.C. last week to meet with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and EMILY's List, said she won't run in a Tuesday statement.

"Continuing to serve as Ingham County Clerk allows me to more directly fight for issues that will move our state forward, including election and redistricting reform and equal rights for all Michiganders," she said in the statement. "While partisan gridlock in Congress prevents anything meaningful from being accomplished, my work here in Michigan has a real effect on people's lives and that’s what drives my commitment to public service."

Her decision is a blow to House Democrats, who hope to land a strong recruit in a slightly GOP-leaning seat that Mitt Romney carried by 3 percentage points in 2012.

The only other prominent Democrat who'd been considering a run, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero (D), has already ruled out a bid.

On the GOP side, former Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R) is already running and has Rogers's endorsement. Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett (R) is also in the race.