Stupak field starts to take shape with entry of Sheltrown

Another Democrat is entering the race to replace Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.).

According to the Ogemaw County Herald, state Rep. Joel Sheltrown is trading in his state Senate campaign for a congressional bid:

Following the announcement last Friday that Rep. Bart Stupak would be retiring after 18 years in Congress, State Representative Joel Sheltrown (D-West Branch) announced Monday that he will be seeking election to the 1st Congressional District seat.

Sheltrown told the Herald Monday that when Stupak announced his retirement, he gave a couple of names of people who he felt would be qualified to run for the seat. Sheltrown’s name was on that list.

“Immediately after, I received a call asking me to run,” Sheltrown said.

Sheltrown, who was already involved in a state Senate campaign, said he had to talk to his wife and his strategists before he could make a decision.

“It’s an absolutely huge commitment,” Sheltrown said, adding that he understands that this is the largest district east of the Mississippi. “Once I put all the pieces together and it appeared that the door was open — if a door is open, I’ve never been one to walk up to it and close it.”

Sheltrown joins former Charlevoix County Commissioner Connie Saltonstall in the primary. Saltonstall was endorsed by Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the National Organization for Women before Stupak retired, but Democratic leaders may look for a more well-known candidate.

State Rep. Michael Lahti is reportedly also considering a run for the Democratic nod, and state Rep. Gary McDowell has also been mentioned.

On the GOP side, physician Dan Benishek is raising good money, and state House Minority Leader Kevin Elsenheimer is also considering the race.