Social media went up into a firestorm this past week when rocker Kid Rock, real name Robert Ritchie, seemed to hint that he was going to seek political office in his home state of Michigan. It could have something to do with a little website called kidrockforsenate.com. This rumor quickly gained legs and ran off on its own, but what’s the deal? Is Kid Rock actually running for office? What would he have to do to file and run? Does he stand a chance? Let’s take a deeper look.

Who exactly is Kid Rock?

Robert Ritchie is a 46-year-old musician who has won five Grammy awards and sold millions of albums. He’s been a Michigan boy his whole life, born in Romeo, Michigan and associated closely with Detroit. His name likely rings a bell if you’re a fan of rock or rock-country music.  He was married to Pamela Anderson for a short period of time. He’s a libertarian-leaning Republican who previously endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012 and even performed at the Republican National Convention that year.  In 2016, he initially supported Ben Carson before rallying behind Trump.

Is this fake news or a real story?

It’s really hard to tell at this point. It could be a publicity stunt, but it also wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for this to be reality. Kid Rock made news a couple months ago for a trip to the White House with another musician, Ted Nugent, and former VP candidate Sarah Palin. He’s an active voice among famous conservatives. If he wanted to make a real run for it, he could probably find support. As of the writing of this article, he has not officially entered the race, but the deadline has not yet passed. He has already started selling swag though, including “Kid Rock for Senate” t-shirts.

Some outlets, like USA Today, say to be skeptical of this as an actual candidacy and view it as a potential publicity stunt, saying “Few have proved smarter at the art of hustling and playing with people’s imaginations.” 

Kid Rock, for his own part, released the following statement: “I concede that she [Senator Stabenow] is better at playing politics than I am so I’ll keep doing what I do best, which is being a voice of tax paying, hardworking Americans and letting politicians like her know  we the people are sick and tired of their bulls*t.” Pretty strong words,publicity stunt or not.

How would this play out, if it did happen? 

So, if Mr.Ritchie decided to run for senate,or any other position, he’ll have to file with the Federal Election Commission and start actually campaigning and getting donors. He’ll likely have a built-in audience of his fans, though he’ll want to focus on his constituents in Michigan. The next Michigan senate race is in November of 2018. He would have to beat other Republicans in a primary before facing off against Democrat incumbent Stabenow.

What do other people think about this suggestion?

Many people aren’t taking Kid Rock seriously, likely with good reason. His potential opponent Senator Stabenow made a pretty strong and sassy statement. She stated, “I know we both share a love of music. I concede he’s better at playing guitar and I’ll keep doing what I do best: fighting for Michigan.”

Other people are more supportive of his potential run. Townhall.com columnist Kurt Schlicter welcomes the idea with open arms, writing, “I’ll take Kid Rock in a heartbeat over what you’re selling – he’s a cowboy, baby, and he’s thrown a punch and taken one. He’s not going to lie to you about devouring think tank white papers and how we’re really absolutely totally going to do all that great conservative stuff if only we had the House and the Senate and the presidency and unicorns romping through the streets.” 

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member