Kid Rock announced via Twitter last month that he’s running for Senate in Michigan. But don’t look for Kid Rock on your ballot. If you want to vote for the rock star, then you’ll have to remember his legal name: Robert Ritchie.
The Washington Examiner reported that the Michigan secretary of state hasn't formally ruled on whether Kid Rock can use his stage name on the ballot, but legal experts the Examiner spoke to all agree that it’s his legal name that must appear on the ballot.
“[They] are certain that a person's legal name is what must appear on a ballot, and not a nickname of any kind.”
What may seem like a trivial thing could have a huge impact on Kid Rock’s chances of making it to Senate. After all, name recognition is key to the political campaign of any celebrity.
Michigan law does have a minor exception, says the Examiner, for candidates who can prove their name is legal in a “common law” sense because they use it to conduct business. However, they also add that the experts say this exception may not apply to Ritchie.
Even though Ritchie has only put up a campaign website and hasn’t made any formal announcement, he’s still polling within striking distance of the incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow.
On July 12th, he tweeted, "I have had a ton of emails and texts asking me if this website is real… http://kidrockforsenate.com The answer is an absolute YES.”
However, the Examiner notes that ballot rules won’t prevent Kid Rock from campaigning as Kid Rock, so now he just has to make sure people know the name Robert Ritchie too.
Eric Doster, a Michigan lawyer for the Republican Party, said he doesn’t think it’s going to be a problem for the singer.
"People will come to know his real name. I don't know if it's that much of an issue… Like Eminem. He's a Michigan guy, and everyone knows his name is ... Mathers."
Read more about another conservative celebrity who is running for office soon.