Michigan presidential race heats up again

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

The race for president in Michigan is heating back up again this weekend as Libertarian Gary Johnson campaigns in Detroit and surrogates for Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump descend on the state.

Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, will campaign Saturday in Battle Creek and Muskegon, while Detroit native Dr. Ben Carson is expected to stump for Trump in Metro Detroit, Grand Rapids and in the parking lot of the Michigan-Michigan State University tailgate in East Lansing.

On Sunday, Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine will seek to shore up support for Clinton among union members at two different rallies in the heart of Metro Detroit’s blue-collar strongholds.

The Clinton campaign’s surrogate surge will continue on Monday when singer Cher arrives in the state for a private Halloween fundraiser at the Bloomfield Hills home of attorney Joumana Kayrouz.

Tickets ranging in price from $125 to $5,000 were going fast for the 300-person fundraiser the Clinton campaign billed in an invitation as “a once-in-a-lifetime evening to share with friends and other Hillary supporters.”

“I understand that it’s almost sold out,” said Kayrouz, the Southfield personal injury attorney whose face is plastered across billboards and buses across Metro Detroit.

On Sunday, Kaine will speak at a 4 p.m. rally at the United Auto Workers Region 1A union hall on South Telegraph in Taylor. Doors open at 2:50 p.m.

At 6 p.m., Kaine is scheduled to be the featured speaker at a rally organized by the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights at the union’s hall on Mound Road in Warren.

Mike Jackson, president of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, said Trump’s play for votes from union members isn’t working.

“As time goes on, he’s losing more and more of our members as we get closer to the election,” Jackson said Wednesday. “Some of his own missteps — stuff that he has said — is turning our members off in general.”

Jackson will speak at the Kaine rally along with U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, and Doug McCarron, president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Millwrights.

The event begins at 6 p.m. and doors will open at 4 p.m. at the union hall at 23401 Mound Road.

Kaine’s trip to Metro Detroit will follow a flurry of presidential race campaigning in Michigan and nearby Toledo over the next three days.

Trump will be campaigning Thursday in Toledo on Thursday, his third trip to the northwest Ohio city since the Republican National Convention in July.

The campaigns of third-party candidates also are seeking to boost interest among voters this weekend.

Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico and Libertarian Party nominee, is planning a 6 p.m. rally Friday evening at Cobo Center in Detroit. Doors open at 5 p.m. for the Johnson rally in Cobo’s Ballroom B, and free tickets can be reserved on his campaign’s Eventbrite page.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s campaign is planning a 2 p.m. rally Friday at the Redford Theatre in Detroit and a 6 p.m. event at the Bowen Field House on the campus of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.

Stein will not be there in person, but will address supporters in a record video message, according to her campaign.

Kaine’s trip to Macomb County marks his second campaign stop in southeast Michigan in the past two weeks.

On Oct. 18, the Virginia senator gave a policy-heavy speech on combating poverty in Detroit, which remains America’s poorest city.

Kaine has previously campaigned in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor since joining Clinton’s ticket at the Democratic National Convention in late July.

Clinton was last in Michigan on Oct. 10 for a speech at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Trump has not been back to Michigan since he held a Sept. 30 rally in Novi and two fundraisers in Grand Rapids and Detroit.


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Twitter: @ChadLivengood