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Knollenberg will not run for U.S. House

Michael Gerstein
The Detroit News

Lansing — State Sen. Marty Knollenberg on Monday announced that he will not be running for Congress in a statement issued on his social media accounts.

Knollenberg, a Troy Republican, said he and his wife decided it just wasn’t the right time. He had previously expressed interest in running for the 11th District Congressional House seat, currently held by retiring U.S. Rep. Dave Trott that covers parts of Oakland and Wayne counties.

“The possibility of serving my community in Congress is intriguing,” he said in a statement. “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. Perhaps in the future, but not now.”

Among the Republicans who are running for the vacant seat are Lena Epstein, a Donald Trump Michigan campaign co-chair; former state Rep. Rocky Raczkowski of Troy; and state Rep. Klint Kesto of Commerce Township.

On the Democratic side, two former members of the Obama administration are running — Treasury official Haley Stevens and Homeland Security adviser Fayrouz Saad. Trott’s 2016 opponent, Dr. Anil Kumar, is considering another run.

As vice chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Knollenberg said he’ll continue to work on education issues in the state senate.

“When I decided to run for the State Senate in 2014, it was because I wanted to do something, not be something,” he continued. “And I believe that right now the State Senate is where I can make the greatest difference.”

He said he’ll kick off his state Senate re-election bid on Dec. 1 with a reception hosted by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Knollenberg voted for a controversial teacher retirement system overhaul this year that automatically puts new public school employees into a 401(k)-style retirement savings account rather than the “hybrid” pension plan most join now.

In 2016, Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown filed an assault and battery complaint against Knollenberg for allegedly squeezing her arm at an event after the State of the County address.

Knollenberg was cleared of the accusation later that year because the Livingston County prosecutor said there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the allegation.