05/31/2012 07:56 pm ET

Michigan Dem Steve Pestka's Campaign Denies Buying His 'Likes'

Steve Pestka, the Democratic frontrunner in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, has seen an extraordinary uptick in Facebook "likes," jumping from 1,000 to 7,500 in less than a month, according to Electablog.

While his campaign has denied purchasing the likes, the demographics for his followers are puzzling. The "most popular age group” for his followers is 13- to 17-year-olds, and the "most popular city" is listed as Israel; in April, it was ages 13-17 from the Philippines, according to the site.

Campaign spokesman Steve Coon has admitted, “There were some non-targeted general Facebook ads run in support of Steve Pestka’s campaign," but added, "that practice has ended.”

Buying Facebook friends, fans and likes is certainly not a novel practice for the politically oriented. BuzzFeed has background on the practice.

Pestka, 60, is running against Trevor Thomas, 29, for the chance to challenge Republican incumbent Rep. Justin Amash in November. The seat has been held by Republicans since 1976.