The Federal Election Commission looked at a complaint issued after Kid Rock pretended he was running for Michigan Senate, but ultimately decided not to pursue legal action.

The TL;DR version of the story is the FEC concluded there were better ways to use their resources, although a note at the official explanation of the dismissal states that the country-rocker (real name is Robert Ritchie) didn't receive special treatment because he's a celebrity.

"Even assuming that Ritchie’s conduct technically violated FECA, further pursuing this matter would have been an unwise use of Commission resources," the dismissal states.

The Washington Post was first to report news of the dismissal of a complaint brought by the watchdog group Common Cause.

"We do not believe the record in this matter — the sale of concert themed merchandise by a musician who explicitly disclaimed candidacy — implicates concerns which are central to the Commission’s regulatory mission or deserving of its resources," the dismissal furthers.

Kid Rock announced he was running for Senate in 2017, but never official registered to run. He actively promoted a website called, which sold merchandise, and continued to talk politics as his tour began. Eventually he admitted to Howard Stern that he never had any intention of running for Senate, though by that point many people had figured that out for themselves. The FEC's dismissal notes that he never announced plans to run under his legal name — something that played a role in choosing to dismiss.

The publicity helped usher in a new record label partner, album and tour. However, Rock's legal issues would continue, as his tour name (the Greatest Show on Earth Tour) was contested by Ringling Bros. circus. He renamed it the American Rock 'n' Roll Tour 2018.

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