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It appears that a pair of Republican candidates running for Michigan’s 11th Congressional seat being vacated by David Trott (R-Birmingham, Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester Hills) are competing to appeal to President Donald Trump’s base and whatever far-right conservatives are in the district. Oil heiress Lena Epstein of Bloomfield Hills, former co-chair of Trump’s Michigan campaign, branded her image this summer in the minds of voters this summer with a campaign photo of herself looking very pregnant (she’s since given birth, we understand), standing in the back of a pickup while holding a billowing American flag, flanked by a prominent NRA window sticker, with a Trump campaign pin affixed to her denim jacket. In a donor appeal letter of late, an “unapologetic conservative” Epstein promises to “shake things up in Washington.” Not to be outdone, state Rep. Klint Kesto (Commerce Township, West Bloomfield), has launched his own “Conservative Change” campaign. “That means repealing Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood, securing the border while ending sanctuary cities, protecting the Second Amendment and all other constitutional rights from unelected bureaucrats,” Kesto said in a campaign email solicitation. While Kesto has a conservative track record at the state level, the image makeover seems a bit out of character. “It’s a different race and a different set of politics. It’s national interests versus state interests, and the issues are a little different,” Kesto said. Still, he says he remains his own person. “I’m not framing myself for any other candidate. I’m not a sheep by any means at all. I have my own principles and philosophy. Some align with the president’s, like putting Michigan and the United States first.”


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