A Michigan judge has decided not to run for the U.S. Senate seat opening up with the retirement of long-time Democratic Sen. Carl Levin in 2014.
 
Oakland County District Judge Kimberly Small's friend and adviser Paul Welday says Monday that Small told him of her decision this weekend. He says it would have been a difficult transition for her to candidate from judge.
 
The announcement further clears the way for former Michigan Secretary of State, Republican Terri Lynn Land, to more easily move forward with her campaign.
 
Levin announced his retirement in March. Land is a declared Republican candidate, though other candidates could run. Democrats have coalesced behind U.S. Rep. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township.