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The race to be the GOP stand bearer for the open Senate seat is beginning to coalesce, with not only money separating the men from the boys, but where the darts are being thrown allowing the bullseye to appear – and more and more, the target is emerging as former Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Brighton). While both Rogers and Grosse Pointe businessman Sandy Pensler raised about $1 million in the first quarter, Pensler’s all came from his own pocket – and there is nary a word being spoken about him. Meanwhile, a lot of darts are being thrown at Rogers, from being a “corporate shill” while he was retired from politics, having made $460,000 from Nokia, $191,056 from the Mitre Corporation, $137,000 from IAP Worldwide Services and $724,887 from IronNet Cybersecurity. He also worked as a CNN commentator, which is often perceived as the enemy camp for Republicans. Another arrow being flung is that Rogers is a “carpetbagger” because he and his wife had retired to Florida before moving back to Michigan to run for the Senate, and he previously was critical of former President Donald Trump – although he’s read the tea leaves and has now endorsed him. “He’s a quality, quality guy. He’d make a great senator,” said one political honcho. “He moved to Florida to retire gracefully and came back to rescue the Senate.” A recent Florida fundraising trip is believed to have been very beneficial for Rogers, with big names and big bucks being thrown his way, including from the DeVos family – which would leave former Grand Rapids Congressman Justin Amash, who switched from being a Republican to an Independent, adrift without his former benefactor’s support just when he has said he is considering a run. Word is Rogers as the Republican Senate candidate is scaring the Democrats as well, who have pretty much aligned behind Lansing Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, who grew up in Bloomfield Township and Franklin, noting the two stack up pretty equally on paper, with each having military and intelligence backgrounds as well as congressional experience, besides floating in the more “moderate” camps of their respective parties.

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