GOP Mich. US Rep. McCotter running for president

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DETROIT (AP) — U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, a guitar-playing five-term congressman from Detroit’s suburbs known for his eccentric sense of humor and independent streak, said Friday that he plans to seek the Republican nomination for president.

The 45-year-old attorney said he will officially announce his candidacy — and join a crowded early field of GOP candidates — on Saturday at an Independence Day festival at Whitmore Lake, about 30 miles outside Detroit. He is expected to play guitar with his band at the event.

McCotter said he would push for a fundamental restructuring of government and for Wall Street banks that received federal bailout money to free up credit.

“We’re not seeing credit flow down to entrepreneurs, innovators and workers that will grow the economy and shape it for the 21st century,” he said. “To me that has to be a linchpin of any economic policy that goes forward.”

He’ll join a Republican race that already includes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, pizza magnate Herman Cain, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

McCotter said there’s “room for another message or another candidate … Now whether or not it’s me, that remains to be seen, but that’s why we have campaigns.”

His biggest battle may be getting his name out.

“The first time I heard about him was today when I received a news alert,” Emory University political science professor Andra Gillespie said Friday. “My general reaction to this is this is a long-shot candidacy.”

McCotter, of Livonia, was elected to his fifth consecutive term in Congress in November. Before running for Congress, he was a lawyer, a state senator, a Wayne County commissioner and a community college trustee.