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Celebrities Preparing Senate Campaigns

With the ascension of Donald Trump to the White House, it sure seems like more and more celebrities and business leaders are considering runs for public office of varying levels. We just chronicled the facebook founder and CEO’s current “listening tour” across America, which some say could be setting him up for a presidential run. The presidency can be a tough road, but there are plenty of Senate seats around the country that afford winners a national profile and at least six years of influence.

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First, we head to Michigan, where singer Kid Rock is considering a Senate run against Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow, according to NPR:

Kid Rock, the singer whose career has spanned rap, hard rock and country music, is fueling the speculation that he intends to announce a bid for the U.S. Senate next year to challenge incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. That is unless it’s all a publicity stunt.

In a post on his personal website Thursday evening, the 46-year-old singer wrote, “Like politicians write books during their campaigns, I’m planning on putting out music during mine and IT ALL STARTS TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT.” On Friday, Kid Rock announced he is releasing two new songs.

The post continued, “Senator Stabenow and I do share a love of music, although probably not the same kind. I concede she is better at playing politics than I am so I’ll keep doing what I do best, which is being a voice for tax paying, hardworking AMERICANS…”

Sure, it could be a stunt, but it might be real. Democrats are still licking their wounds from 2016 and none of them want to take chances by laughing it off, as Huffington Post reports:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said she’s taking musician Kid Rock “seriously” when he says he might run for the U.S. Senate in Michigan next year, challenging Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow.

“There were a lot of people who weren’t concerned about Donald Trump running for the presidency,” Warren said during a meeting at Cape Cod Community College, according to the Boston Herald. “I think there were more jokes than people who took it seriously. So, I take it all seriously right now.”

Warren also mentioned the musician’s potential political career in a recent fundraising email with the subject line “Senator Kid Rock (R-MI).” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) sent a similar email to supporters, questioning whether Kid Rock will follow through but arguing it would be unwise to write him off.

“So, I’ll be honest, we don’t know if this is real, a joke, or a bizarre publicity stunt. But I’ll tell you this: I don’t find it funny,” Schumer wrote.

Michigan is a pretty solidly Democratic state, though Donald Trump did break that wall in 2016. Kid Rock would likely run on the same blue-collar message that propelled Trump in 2016. He’s got deep roots in the state, and would probably earn the party’s backing considering how much he’s already done for the GOP over the years.

The other celebrity reportedly considering a Senate run hails from California, and perhaps may be the most well-known transgender activist in the world, Caitlyn Jenner. The Hill reports on Jenner’s curiosity with running for office, which she hasn’t ruled out of her future plans:

Olympic gold medalist and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner is the latest celebrity to reveal she has considered launching a run for Senate, telling radio host John Catsimatidis she is in the process of determining her future in activism and politics.

“I have considered it. I like the political side of it,” Jenner, who is a Republican, told Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York.

“The political side of it has always been very intriguing to me. Over the next six months or so, I gotta find out where I can do a better job. Can I do a better job from the outside? Kind of working the perimeter of the political scene, being open to talking to anybody? Or are you better from the inside, and we are in the process of determining that,” she said.

“Yeah but I would look for a senatorial run,” she continued.

Jenner told CNN’s Don Lemon in April she would “seriously look at a run for office.”

Jenner has been a supporter of President Trump, but hit Trump earlier this year over his decision to roll back Obama-era protections for transgender students.

“I have a message for President Trump from, well, one Republican to another. This is a disaster. And you can still fix it. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me,” she said.

California Senator Diane Feinstein is up for re-election in 2018 making it the perfect time right now for Jenner to start preparing for a run. Very few Republicans want to bother running for Senate in California anymore, so maybe Jenner could actually create a competitive race given her celebrity and name recognition.

Here is, by far, the best tweet on the topic of celebrity Senate runs in 2018:

In the pre-Trump world, we’d all laugh at the notion. Now though, clearly anything is possible.

Nate Ashworth :Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.