Lara Trump to campaign for Michigan GOP hopefuls

Jonathan Oosting
The Detroit News
Lara Trump, wife of Eric Trump

President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law is coming to Michigan Tuesday to campaign and raise money for several Republican candidates ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm election.

Lara Trump is expected to rally for U.S. Senate hopeful John James in Jackson, U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg in Monroe and U.S. House candidate Lena Epstein in Livonia. She is also expected to attend a private fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette in Birmingham and greet activists after the event. 

Her visit will be the latest Trump family assist for James, a Farmington Hills businessman and Iraq veteran who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Lansing. Donald Trump Jr. campaigned last week with James in Pontiac.

Lara Trump, who is married to the president’s third child Eric Trump, will rally with James at the Commonwealth Commerce Center in Jackson at 7 p.m., according to details announced by his campaign.

She'll campaign with Epstein, a Bloomfield Township Republican who is facing Democrat Haley Stevens of Rochester Hills in the 11th Congressional District, at the Livonia GOP Victory Office at 2:30 p.m. 

She later campaign with Walberg, a Tipton Republican facing a rematch with Democratic challenger Gretchen Driskell of Saline, at the Monroe Republican Field office at 4 p.m. 

The Schuette fundraiser is set for 12:15 p.m. in Birmingham and includes a meet-and-greet with Lara Trump, according to an invitation obtained by The Detroit News. Tickets to the event, chaired by business consultants Tom and Laurie Cunnington, will cost $1,000 per couple. 

Lara Trump and Schuette are expected to greet grassroots activists outside 220 Merrill restaurant at around 1 p.m., according to a Michigan Trump Republicans advisory. 

Schuette, a Midland Republican and current state attorney general, has trailed Democrat Gretchen Whitmer in polling of the gubernatorial race. James has also consistently trailed Stabenow.  

While Democrats are hoping for a big midterm election, handicappers still consider Walberg the favorite for re-election in the 7th Congressional District, which the Cook Political Report ranks as a “likely Republican” seat. The 11th District race between Epstein and Stevens "leans Democratic," according to Cook.

President Donald Trump has given no indication whether he’ll visit Michigan ahead of the Nov. 6 election.

Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to win the state since 1988 but is now relatively unpopular in Michigan. Nearly 57 percent of respondents had an unfavorable opinion of Trump, compared to 36 percent favorable,  in a Sept. 30-Oct. 2 poll of 600 likely voters conducted for The News and WDIV.

Staff reporter Melissa Burke contributed.