Musician Kid Rock Announces Michigan Senate Run as a Republican
Eric Lendrum, Politics Contributor
After much discussion about how Donald Trump’s election to the Presidency could open the door for other celebrities running for political office, one celebrity has finally, officially made that leap.
Musician Robert James Ritchie - better known by his stage name “Kid Rock” - Tweeted a picture of a yard sign reading “Kid Rock for US Senate.” This picture was accompanied by an answer to previous questions regarding whether or not a newly-formed website - kidrockforsenate.com - was a real and official website, to which he confirmed that “The answer is an absolute YES.” He then followed up with another Tweetreading: “Stay tuned, I will have a major announcement in the near future - Kid Rock.” Fox News officially reported this as a confirmation of his run.
The Senate seat in question, in the state of Michigan, is currently held by Democrat Debbie Stabenow, who was first elected in the year 2000. It is one of the ten Democratic Senate seats up for reelection next year in a state that was carried by President Trump in 2016. The state is seen as among the toughest of those ten for the GOP to win, especially in comparison to red-state Democratic seats such as Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota. Senator Stabenow is also one of the two longest-reigning incumbents among those ten states, the other being Bill Nelson of Florida, who was also first elected in 2000. However, it is also noteworthy as one of the three “Blue Wall” states that Trump ultimately took in a surprise victory, mostly due to his stance on free trade and support for American manufacturing industries, which resonated well with the white-working class in such signature industries for the state as automobile manufacturing.
Rock, who was born in Romeo, Michigan and has lived in the state his entire life, has been a lifelong conservative in a similar vein to fellow conservative Michigan musician Ted Nugent, who has also considered a run for the seat. He has recently been much more vocal in the world of politics, with an emphasis on Mitt Romney’s presidential run in 2012; he allowed the Romney campaign to use his song “Born Free” as its theme song, and even introduced Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, at a Michigan rally in October of 2012. More recently, in the crowded Republican field of 2016, Rock initially endorsed neurosurgeon and future Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, before switching to Trump after he became the nominee.
As of now, Rock is one of three officially declared Republican candidates in the race, the others being businesswoman and former statewide chair of the Trump campaign Lena Epstein, and former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court Robert P. Young, Jr. Other names in consideration for the nomination include Nugent, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, and Representative Justin Amash.
You can follow the author on Twitter: @EricLendrum26.
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