Newspaper article Roll Call

Bentivolio Gets Primary Challenger in Michigan | #MI11

Newspaper article Roll Call

Bentivolio Gets Primary Challenger in Michigan | #MI11

Article excerpt

Republican Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan officially has a primary on his hands.

Attorney David Trott announced Wednesday morning his primary challenge against Bentivolio, a freshman who won his first term amid the chaos created when former Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter abruptly resigned from Congress in 2012.

Trott's announcement came in the form of an email to supporters and made no mention of the 11th District's incumbent.

"It's time we fix Washington and send a leader there who will bring the best people and the best ideas from our communities together to advance our freedom-loving agenda -- A leader with a proven record of job creation and problem-solving abilities -- A leader with the integrity and commitment to help the district and its residents," he wrote.

Bentivolio has gained attention on the national scene in recent weeks after advocating for the impeachment of President Barack Obama. He is mostly known in Congress for his background in reindeer ranching.

"The congressman is focused on bringing jobs to Michigan, fighting back against Obamacare, balancing our budget and getting our debt under control," his campaign spokesman Matt Chisholm emailed in reaction to Trott's announcement.

"Those are the issues he ran on, and those are the issues he is working on. He will continue working hard for the good people of the 11th district," he added.

The Trott announcement comes as no surprise to political observers. Michigan Republicans mentioned Trott as a primary threat as early as last December, even before Bentivolio was sworn in.

Michigan and national Republicans say Trott has both the personal finances and political connections to mount a serious campaign. Bentivolio, despite his incumbent status, struggled over the past year to put together an organized re-election effort. He raised $65,000 in the most recent fundraising quarter and his previous reporting period was even worse.

But Chisholm told CQ Roll Call that Bentivolio has stepped up his fundraising in the third quarter. …

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