Republican U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, considered by some to be an “accidental” congressman, was easily defeated Tuesday in a Michigan district and became the third U.S. House incumbent to lose his seat this year.
Lawyer and businessman David Trott, 53, who contributed nearly $2.5 million of his own money to his campaign, will face Democrat Bobby McKenzie, a counterterrorism expert, in the November general election to represent the 11th congressional district covering a swath of Detroit’s western and northern suburbs.
Some deemed Bentivolio’s 2012 election accidental because the Republican incumbent, former Rep. Thad McCotter, had inexplicably turned in fraudulent voter signatures when seeking a spot on the ballot.
Bentivolio joins Texas Rep. Ralph Hall and former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia on the list of incumbents ousted in primary races this year. Bentivolio, 62, a former teacher, auto designer and reindeer farmer who served in the Army and later the National Guard, lashed out at the Republican party in his concession speech for what he called “cronyism” and embracing money over ideas.
“They have become more interested in power than helping others maintain our liberty,” he said after losing the vote by two-to-one.
Trott said the “size and scope of the federal government” is the single biggest problem facing residents of Michigan and called for reducing wasteful government spending and cutting the debt and the deficit. He received backing from business groups.
He said President Barack Obama’s health care law has been “an absolute disaster,” costing millions of Americans their health insurance coverage while driving up insurance rates for millions more.