Butler, who is also an ordained minister, told his congregation on New Year's Eve he might seek the Republican nomination to face first-term Democrat Debbie Stabenow in November 2006.
An informal adviser to many Michigan statewide candidates, Butler served as the Michigan chairman of Blacks for Reagan-Bush in 1984.
Other prominent Republicans, including White House favorite U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, are also mulling a bid. Stabenow is not expected to have opposition for re-nomination.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]