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Heise running for Congress; Knollenberg out

Plymouth Township Supervisor Kurt Heise announced on Wednesday, October 11, that he was throwing his hat in the ring for the Republican nomination for U. S. House of Representatives in the 11th Congressional District, currently held by Republican Rep. David Trott of Birmingham, while state Senator Marty Knollenberg (R-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester, Rochester Hills) said on Monday, October 9, he would not seek the seat, one which many considered him a favorite for as his father, former Rep. Joe Knollenberg, held for a decade and a half.

Trott announced in August that he would not seek reelection for the 11th District congressional seat in 2018, which encompasses Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, part of Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Troy, West Bloomfield, Farmington Hills, parts of west Oakland County and communities in western Wayne County, leading to a scramble to fill it on both sides of the aisle.

In his announcement, Heise, who is also a former state representative, pointed to his conservative record of fixing government problems at local, county and statel levels. Heise said his time in Lansing was known for his leading on criminal justice reform and fighting human trafficking, and his work on environmental and clean water policy in both Wayne and Oakland counties.

He claimed that when Plymouth was mired in incompetence and “good old boy politics,” he and his team ousted the establishment as a write-in candidate, and the township’s government is “now focused on providing value to its residents, restoring police and fire departments, and putting an end to old school establishment politics.”

He added, “Everyone says they are ‘anti-establishment,’ but only I have fought the party bosses, bullies, crooked contractors, and dark money – and won.The Establishment knows I can’t be bullied or bought to vote their way.”

Republicans insiders had thought Knollenberg, a former state representative from Troy, and a state senator who focuses on education whose first term ends in 2018, would leap at the opportunity of an open congressional seat, but he decided this was not the right time for him or his wife, Lori, who recently became a grandmother. They also own Sedona Taphouse restaurant in Troy with partners, and are considering expansion plans.

“I will not be a candidate for Congress in 2018,” he said in a statement. “The possibility of serving my community in Congress is intriguing. This will be an open seat for the first time since 1992, the year my dad ran and won. While it could be political déjà vu, my wife Lori and I believe now is not the right time. I like what I am doing. And I believe I can make the greatest difference for my community by seeking reelection and continuing my work in the state Senate. My passion is education.”

Also announced for the August 2018 Republican primary are 39th District state Representative Klint Kesto (Commerce Township, West Bloomfield), former state representative Rocky Raczkowski, a Troy resident, along with Lena Epstein of Bloomfield Hills. The winner will go against the winner of Democratic primary field which now includes Haley Stevens, Dan Haberman, Fayrouz Saad and Anil Kumar.

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