Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) officially announced his Senate candidacy Wednesday, pitching himself as a champion for the middle class in a note to supporters.

"Today -- I am officially announcing that I am a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2014," Peters wrote. He called the present time a "critical moment" for Michigan.

"I’ve always believed that the things middle class families struggle with around their kitchen tables should define my work in Washington," Peters continued. "That’s why I led the fight to increase lending to small businesses, make sure women receive equal pay for equal work, and held Wall Street accountable when they took their taxpayer-funded bailouts and paid themselves bonuses."