SOS Ruth Johnson exploring state Senate run

Jonathan Oosting
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is forming a new exploratory committee ahead of a potential run for the state Senate in 2018, she announced Thursday.

Johnson is eyeing the 14th District seat currently held by state Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, who will be term limited out of office at the end of next year.

The exploratory committee “will be charged with laying the groundwork for a successful” state Senate run for Johnson, according to a release from RevSix data and political consulting firm.

Johnson, 62, is a Republican from Holly who served in the Michigan House from 1999 to 2006 and ran as the running mate of Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos in 2006.

She’s served as Secretary of State since 2011 after topping Democrat Jocelyn Benson in the 2010 general election. Benson is considering another run for Secretary of State in 2018.

Johnson won re-election to the statewide post in 2014 but cannot run for the office again due to term limits.

At Saturday’s Michigan Republican Party convention in Lansing, Johnson said her next pursuit would be an elected office but did not specify which job she would seek.

The 14th District state Senate seat includes parts of Oakland and Genesee counties, including Grand Blanc and Waterford Township.

Robertson, who chairs the Senate Elections and Government Reform Committee, called Johnson “a tireless fighter for the citizens of Michigan” and said he was “thrilled to see her take the initial steps” towards a run for the seat he will vacate.

As Secretary of State, Johnson serves as the state’s top elections officer and motor vehicle administrator.

“Ruth’s hard work and integrity make her an ideal candidate for the state Senate’s 14th District,” Robertson said in a statement. “She has been a champion for government efficiency.”