GOP Senate Candidate In Michigan Releases Her Take On ‘Rich Men North Of Richmond’

School board member, nurse — and apparent songstress — Nikki Snyder is trying to stand out in a crowded Republican field by releasing a short music video.
Nikki Snyder is an underdog for the Republican nomination in the U.S. Senate race.
Nikki Snyder is an underdog for the Republican nomination in the U.S. Senate race.
Nikki Snyder for Senate

A GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in Michigan running on a parental rights platform released her own version of the viral GOP anthem “Rich Men North of Richmond.”

Nikki Snyder, a 39-year-old Michigan State Board of Education member and former labor and delivery nurse, filmed the video in a trailer park similar to the one she lived in as a child in Michigan’s remote Upper Peninsula, her campaign said. She also references a sexual assault by a former boss, an experience she’s been open about as a candidate.

Watch the video here:

Snyder is an extreme underdog for the Republican Senate nod in Michigan, but the field is so unsettled months out from the August 2024 primary that even a breakout from Snyder isn’t entirely out of the question. Snyder is competing in the GOP primary against former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers and ex-Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who are both far more likely to win donors and institutional support.

But Michigan GOP politics are notoriously unpredictable. Republicans do not have much of a candidate bench, and grassroots party members are looking to oust the current state party chairman, an election conspiracist, now that the party is dead broke.

Snyder, a mother of three, is one of two Republicans on the Michigan Board of Education, a seat she won in 2016 after earning almost 2 million votes statewide. She is also a local member of Moms for Liberty, according to her campaign, and appears to be one of the first people associated with the hardcore parental rights group to mount a U.S. Senate campaign. (Moms for Liberty hasn’t made an endorsement or committed any money to her race or any other statewide contests; the group remains primarily focused on local school board races.)

Snyder’s platform includes a vow to restore parental control in education and champion a “Parental Bill of Rights,” as well as commitments to fight “Bidenomics” and illegal immigration.

Her campaign spokesperson, Michael Stroud, said the central Michigan mom “lives on a dirt road with three kids, 26 chickens and a whole lot of American pride.”

Her video is set to the tune of country-folk singer Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond,” a song that Anthony wrote and released on YouTube this year about the struggles of working-class life — combining lyrics about “bullshit” wages with critiques of “obese” welfare recipients and a nod to conspiracies about human trafficking. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts and was referenced during the first GOP presidential debate. Anthony has subsequently said the song was not meant as a Republican Party anthem.

“I wrote this song about those people,” Anthony said about the Republican candidates on the debate stage.

Anthony, who is currently on a world tour, didn’t respond to a request for comment about Snyder’s homage to his song.

Snyder’s lyrics attempt to strike a similar tone: “Fat cat elites / in congressional seats / pimpin’ on corporate welfare,” Snyder sings as she strolls through the trailer park in jeans and winter boots.

At the top of the song, Snyder references being the victim of a sexual assault, an experienced she shared in a 2020 YouTube video released during her first congressional campaign. Snyder tried to challenge Democrat Elissa Slotkin for her congressional seat that year but didn’t collect enough signatures to make the ballot. Now Slotkin is the perceived front-runner for the Democratic Senate nomination.

In the 2020 video, Snyder describes how her boss groped her when she was 21 and pregnant with her first child. “I told my husband, our parents, the police and spoke with a lawyer. The overall tone of the response I got from all sources was general silence. There was a sense that nothing can be done,” she recalled.

Snyder’s campaign said she recorded her “Rich Men North of Richmond” take to show that this is a “different type of campaign” for office.

“Everyday Americans need to be free from the oppression of a government that is increasingly imposing itself on everything we do, think, feel or say,” Snyder told HuffPost in a statement. “It is negatively impacting our access to taxpayer-funded systems, our families and individual wellbeing. We start the revolution of fighting back by telling our story.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article erroneously referred to the viral song in question as “Rich Men of North Richmond.” The title is actually “Rich Men North of Richmond.”

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