Land looking like GOP's candidate for Senate seat

** ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, DEC. 24 ** Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is shown during an interview Dec. 10, 2007, in Lansing, Mich. Land didn't get a lot of changes she'd hoped for this year in voting requirements, campaign finance disclosure and the creation of a new, dual-purpose driver's license. But she's optimistic lawmakers will have more time to spend on her suggestions in 2008. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) -- Terri Lynn Land was the first Michigan Republican to express interest when longtime Democratic Sen. Carl Levin announced his retirement.

Six months later, the former secretary of state remains the lone GOP candidate after congressmen and others declined to run. Pundits once predicted a potential wide-open primary.

She is looking more and more like Republicans' standard-bearer in their attempt to win a U.S. Senate seat for just the second time in 40 years. Democrats have coalesced behind U.S. Rep. Gary Peters.

Land said Saturday she's excited to unite the party and thinks Republicans are realizing Michigan is crucial if the GOP is to win control of the Senate in 2014.

There's a chance Republican cardiologist Rob Steele could get into the race, though Republicans say he's running out of time.