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Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Republican opponent John James made their final push for votes Monday in a spirited race that has received White House attention. 

James, a 37-year-old Farmington Hills businessman, spoke to a crowd at a cider mill in Washington Township. The Army veteran has been receiving the biggest responses among candidates at Michigan Republican ticket events around the state and was applauded at the rally, where he spoke to every single voter, smiled for pictures and accepted hugs.

Even his sixth grade teacher made the trip to see James, who has been endorsed by President Donald Trump with three visits from Vice President Mike Pence and others.

The campaign has "exceeded my expectations where we'd thought we'd be at this particular point," he said, adding that people "have a choice."

""If you had told me that we'd have this energy level at this point going into tomorrow with the polls being as close as they were down to six a week and a half ago, it's absolutely incredible," James said. "We're not letting up."

Stabenow, who made an appearance in Madison Heights at a get-out-the-vote rally with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer and others, said she's "feeling great" about the election.

"For me, there's just such a stark difference in the race and my opponent keeps reinforcing that by bringing in one Trump person after another after another after another after another," she said of James.

"I think he's made it clear between the president, the vice president, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump's wife, Rudy Giuliani — that he stands for President Trump 2,000 percent."

Stabenow said despite what her opponent says, "I work hard everyday, not just during a campaign" and that voters see it.

Don Brown, 56, who attended the Washington Township event, begged to differ.

"He's high tech, he's fresh, he's energetic, he's got new ideas," Brown said about James. "The more I see him, the more I'm impressed by him. He's running not for himself, but for the things that need to be accomplished, things that he sees that aren't being done."

But Ann Serafin, 68, of Ferndale supported Stabenow.

"She is not a do-nothing. She is a very, very active senator," Serafin said. "Whoever says that is wrong."

Stabenow does "so much for the Great Lakes" and other important issues, she said, "and I am backing her because of that and because she is an honest person who is trying to do her best for Michigan."

lfleming@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2620

Twitter:@leonardnfleming

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