(Corrects “tone” to “ton” in paragraph 4. Corrects name to Ritchie, not Richie, in paragraph 6.)
By Ben Klayman
DETROIT, July 12 (Reuters) - Recording star Kid Rock, an outspoken supporter of Republican President Donald Trump, hinted in website and social media messages on Wednesday that he intends to run for the U.S. Senate in 2018.
The 46-year-old Michigan native drew attention on Twitter and his Facebook page to a “Kid Rock ‘18 for U.S. Senate” website, featuring a photo of the goateed singer-songwriter seated in a star-spangled chair in dark glasses and white fedora, above the tagline: “Are you scared?”
The site also displays images of a T-shirt, baseball cap and bumper sticker emblazoned with the campaign logo, “Kid Rock for US Senate” and a box of alternating slogans, including, “In Rock We Trust,” “Party to the People” and “You Never Met a Politician Quite Like Me.”
“I have a ton of emails and texts asking me if this website is real ... The answer is an absolute YES,” he said on his verified Twitter account. “Stay tuned, I will have a major announcement in the near future.”
Reached by email, the musician’s spokesman, Kirt Webster, referred only to Rock’s Facebook page, which bore the same message. His music label, Warner Bros Records, also posted a website offering sales of Kid Rock for U.S. Senate merchandise.
Born Robert James Ritchie in the Detroit suburb of Romeo, Michigan, he rose to fame in 1998 as his debut album “Devil Without a Cause” sold some 14 million copies, and he gained additional celebrity through his courtship of actress Pamela Anderson and their brief marriage in the 2000s.
While no mention was made in Wednesday’s online postings about Rock’s political affiliation or even in what state he would run for office, he presumably would seek to challenge Michigan’s Democratic incumbent senator, Debbie Stabenow, who is up for re-election in 2018.
The Capitol Hill-based newspaper Roll Call reported earlier this month that Rock’s name surfaced as a possible candidate at a Michigan Republican Party convention, though no official decisions were announced.
According to Roll Call, Rock endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for president in 2012 and initially supported Ben Carson for the Republican nomination in 2016 but switched to Trump when the former reality-TV star became the party’s nominee.
Afterward, Rock released a line of pro-Trump merchandise, including a T-shirt that read “God Guns & Trump.”
In April, Kid Rock joined fellow rocker and conservative activist Ted Nugent and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for a White House visit and dinner with Trump. (Additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)