TAKING A STAB
Michigan Republicans struggling to regain a hold on the state's United States Senate seat have successfully courted former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert P. Young Jr. to run for the seat held by incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow (D). Young – a Detroit Country Day School graduate now residing in the Lansing area – was appointed to the state's top court in 1999 and was last elected in 2010, retired from the court this April, well before his term was set to expire in 2019. Young confirmed in April there was interest from some in the GOP in him running for the senate. Young confirmed at a Republican Party breakfast on June 20 that he was indeed planning to run for the seat. Some party members believe the GOP will now have a viable candidate to challenge Stabenow, who is considered a formidable opponent with more than $4.2 million campaign cash on hand, according to the Federal Election Commission. Republican newcomer Lena Epstein, who co-chaired Donald Trump's presidential campaign in Michigan, will also be running for the GOP nomination in August 2018. Epstein, a Bloomfield Hills resident who works as the general manager in her family's business, Vesco Oil – and who has never run for political office – spoke at the annual Oakland County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner on June 19. One person described the audience's response as "dismal" and another GOP insider as "a polite audience," some of who questioned whether Epstein had any chance of winning, and whether voters believe the expectant mother could handle the challenges of a new child and a new senate seat. "I don't see her beating Debbie Stabenow," one said. "Can you see one thing that Debbie has done wrong that people will jump on her for? I think our voting public is smart."