Michigan Judge to Decide on Senate Bid Soon

Back in early July, the National Republican Senatorial Committee met with Oakland County district-court judge Kimberly Small about the open Senate seat in Michigan, according to the Washington Post. A little bird familiar with Michigan politics tells me Small will make her decision by September 1, and is likely to run.

As a judge, Small doesn’t have the name ID in the political realm, but she has garnered some favorable coverage in her 17 years on the bench. Small currently is judge for a district that includes Michigan’s wealthier communities, including the charter townships of Bloomfield and West Bloomfield and the cities of Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Keego Harbor, Orchard Lake Village, and Sylvan Lake.

She travels to middle schools and presides over mock trials to help teach kids about making good choices.

Small garnered national headlines when she sentenced former University of Michigan and NBA basketball player Jalen Rose to 20 days behind bars for drunk driving, telling him, “You’re not here because you drank. I have no problem with that. Have at it. I do mind when you get behind the wheel of a two-ton vehicle and use it as a weapon against the rest of us.”

She has garnered some controversy for sentencing nearly all first-time drunk-driving offenders to jail:

Of course, “she’s too tough on drunk drivers” is not a line often heard in attack ads.

Six-term incumbent senator Carl Levin, a Democrat, is retiring. Representative Gary Peters is expected to be the Democrats’ Senate nominee.

Terri Lynn Land, member of the Republican National Committee and former Michigan secretary of state, is the only other declared Republican candidate for Senate. Representative Justin Amash said last month he’s still thinking about it.

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