Mitt Romney's brother Scott eyeing Senate bid in Michigan

Scott Romney, brother of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, cheers during the roll call for nomination of president of the United States at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 28, 2012, during the Republican National Convention.

Scott Romney, the older brother of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, is "interested and seriously looking at" a run for the U.S. Senate seat in Michigan being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, a friend of the Romney family tells CBS News.

While he's not the household name his brother is, Scott Romney has been a presence in Michigan politics for more than a decade. He sought but narrowly lost the Republican nomination for Michigan attorney general in 1998, and between 2001 and 2009 he was a member of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees. He also served as a Michigan delegate at Mitt Romney's 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

He would not be the first member of the Romney family to seek a Senate seat in Michigan: his mother, former Michigan first lady Lenore Romney, staged an unsuccessful run for the Senate as the Republican candidate in 1970.

Nor would Scott Romney be the first relative of Mitt Romney whose name has been floated for public office since the 2012 election. Tagg Romney, the eldest son of Mitt and Ann Romney, was mentioned as a possible GOP candidate for John Kerry's Senate seat in Massachusetts after Kerry left to head the State Department.

Despite the buzz, he eventually took his name out of consideration, saying, "The timing is not right for me."

Levin this week announced his decision to retire at the end of his term. He was first elected to the Senate in 1978 and will have served six full terms by the time he leaves office in January 2015, making him the longest-serving senator in Michigan's history. He was considered a safe bet to retain his seat if he ran again, and his decision to retire provides an opening for Republicans.

Democrats mentioned as possible candidates include former Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Rep. Gary Peters, a congressman from the Detroit suburbs.

CBS News senior political producer Caroline Horn contributed to this report.