Kid Rock hints at potential US Senate run in Michigan

LANSING, Mich.– Kid Rock for U.S. Senate?

The musician from suburban Detroit is teasing his potential 2018 candidacy, though it is news to Michigan Republicans.

Kid Rock, who was born Robert Ritchie, said Wednesday that a website hinting at his campaign — www.kidrockforsenate.com — is legit.

“I have had a ton of emails and texts asking me if this website is real,” he said on Facebook and Twitter. “The answer is an absolute YES. Stay tuned, I will have a major announcement in the near future.”

Ritchie could not be reached by The Associated Press to discuss his plans. Spokesman Kirt Webster referred to the Facebook post and said “more soon.”

Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser said he had not heard from Ritchie, who endorsed GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump in 2016 and Mitt Romney in 2012.

“It could be a publicity ploy. Don’t know,” Weiser said in a text message.

The website shows Ritchie, 46, and asks “Are You Scared?” It has slogans such as “In Rock We Trust,” ”I’ll Rock The Party” and “You’ve Never Met a Politician Quite Like Me.” It links to campaign merchandise on a website for his record label, Warner Bros.

Third-term Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow is up for re-election in 2018 after easily winning in 2012 and 2006. Republican candidates include former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bob Young Jr. and businesswoman Lena Epstein.

Democrats traditionally have fared well in statewide federal elections in Michigan. But Trump’s narrow victory over Hillary Clinton in the state — the first for a GOP presidential nominee in 28 years — has given Republicans some optimism about facing the popular Stabenow.

Epstein, herself a political newcomer, welcomed Ritchie to “the party” and said she hopes they can campaign together.

“The more attention we can bring to the need to defeat Debbie Stabenow the better off we will be in November of 2018!” she said.

Stabenow said she shares Ritchie’s love for music.

“I concede he is better at playing the guitar and I’ll keep doing what I do best, which is fighting for Michigan,” she said in a statement.

In April, Trump hosted Kid Rock, musician Ted Nugent and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at a White House dinner.

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Follow David Eggert on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DavidEggert00 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/David%20Eggert .