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Next year’s election is 11 months away, but pundits are beginning to handicap the odds of those who are running in the 11th District congressional race, currently held by Republican Dave Trott of Birmingham. The district, which includes Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester Hills, Troy, western Oakland County and parts of Wayne County, has attracted an assortment of seasoned politicians and neophytes on both sides of the aisle. Based on the current field, some Republicans are saying it could become a two-man race on their side between Plymouth Township supervisor Kurt Heise and state Rep. Klint Kesto (West Bloomfield), dismissing oil heiress Lena Epstein of Bloomfield Hills and perennial candidate Rocky Raczkowski (Troy) as not having a chance in the primary. Heise has a long record as conservative lawmaker, and Kesto is the first Chaldean to be elected to the state House, a point of pride in the Chaldean community. “I haven’t heard anything good about Lena, other than from her about all the money she’s raising,” said one prominent Republican, “and it’s all a loan from herself.” Of the $956,591 Epstein raised in the last quarter, $615,000 was self-funded.


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