Michigan: Land Could Be Heir Apparent If Ehlers Bails

Posted June 26, 2009 at 6:13pm

Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R) said last week that he has not decided yet about whether he will seek a 10th term in Congress, but he added that he does not normally think about making a decision until February.

“I never even think about it until about February because our filing deadline is not until March,— Ehlers said in an interview. “We don’t have to make decisions early in Michigan the way a lot of states do.—

Ehlers has always faced minor opposition and won re-election by large margins, but voters in his district split evenly between President Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential race. When Ehlers retires, it is all but certain that there will be a competitive open-seat race.

Fortunately for Republicans, a possible heir to Ehlers’ seat emerged last week. Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, who lives in Ehlers’ district, dropped out of the gubernatorial primary and would be well-positioned to jump into the House race should Ehlers decide not to run again.

What’s more, Ehlers and Land are long-time acquaintances.

“I’ve known her since she was a college student and I was still teaching then,— Ehlers said about Land.