GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — We are still more than a year and a half before the next general election that will select a new member of the U.S. Senate from Michigan, but the hopefuls are already lining up.

When Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, announced she was not running for reelection it was not entirely unexpected. It still marked a big change in the political landscape. We don’t know all of the players but on both sides, Democrat and Republican, an open Senate seat is bound to attract a crowd.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly, currently serves in the U.S. House and represents the 7th district in the central part of the state.

She has emerged as an early candidate to replace Stabenow but knows she will not be alone.

In Grand Rapids Monday she announced her ‘listening tour,’ where she hopes to hear more of the concerns that people in the state are feeling. She already knows that the cost of healthcare and inflation are issues that people have told her matter to them.

She says the tone of political discourse is unsettling and she says it comes down to values.

“You’ve got to live your values. If I don’t like it when some else is nasty, I can’t turn around and be nasty. And I don’t accept that kind of behavior from anyone on any side of the aisle, right? Second of all you have to remember that the only thing that you can control is yourself. So … I’m going to decide and I have decided to go into this race and I totally understand that others are going to run, but it’s never going to be running against someone else, it’s what I can do for the people of Michigan because I believe passionately in that,” she told political reporter Rick Albin.

Slotkin will not be alone. It is unclear who may run in a Democratic primary, though there could be several challengers.

It is perhaps harder to say what will happen with the Republican side. The party has some deep divisions and unproven leadership at the state level that will have to demonstrate an ability to raise money in support of such a bid or find a candidate who can bring their own fundraising on board to run a standalone race.

State Rep. Elissa Slotkin will be one of the guests on this week’s “To The Point.”