Jessica Mathews /

One of the Republican candidates running for an open U.S. Senate seat has reached what was said to be a critical milestone in his campaign.

Republican Mike Rogers, a Howell High School graduate and Army veteran who served in Congress for 14 years and chaired the House Intelligence Committee, is running for the open seat that Democrats have held in Michigan for over two decades.

On Tuesday, Rogers announced that his campaign has collected 30,000 petition signatures to place his name on the ballot in 2024. He said thanks to tremendous grassroots support, the campaign collected the maximum allowable signatures permitted by the Secretary of State in just over eight weeks – marking a critical milestone in record time in the off-year.

Rogers said “This is a momentous day for my campaign, collecting 30,000 signatures in just eight weeks sets the tone in this race and continues our strong momentum into 2024. He said “while the road ahead does not get any easier, the good news is we're just getting started."

Rogers joins a field of more than a dozen candidates vying for a seat that’s been held by Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow for more than two decades. Stabenow shocked many in the state in January by announcing her retirement, creating a wide-open race in the battleground state.

Other Republicans in the race include recently announced Peter Meijer, who served one term in Congress before being ousted by voters following a vote to impeach then-President Donald Trump. Meijer is an heir to a Midwestern grocery store empire. His name recognition and fundraising ability are said to make him a top candidate in one of the nation’s most competitive Senate races. Others in the Republican field include former Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

The Democratic field has been led by Livingston County Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, who represents the 7th District. Actor Hill Harper is also in the race. Slotkin announced her intentions in February, but the Republican field had remained relatively empty until Rogers announced a campaign in September and Craig did so in October. Slotkin had nearly $4 (m) million more in the bank than any other Senate candidate through September, according to campaign finance numbers.