The successor to disgraced U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan's 11th district will be a Tea-Party-backed veteran whose resume includes work as a teacher, a Santa Claus impersonator and a reindeer farmer.
Voters in the suburban Detroit district elected Republican candidate Kerry Bentivolio to the U.S. House. He won the seat with 51 percent of the vote with 93 percent of precincts reporting at 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Detroit Free Press. 44 percent of the district's voters selected his opponent Democrat Syed Taj, an Indian-born doctor and businessman who serves on the town board for the town of Canton. The remainder of votes was divided among several third-party candidates.
In August Bentivolio defeated write-in candidate Nancy Cassis after receiving an estimated $300,000 from the Liberty For All Super PAC, a special interest group funded by the 21-year-old Texas financial heir John Ramsey.
The 11th Congressional seat was vacated by five-term former congressman and brief contender for the GOP presidential nomination Thaddeus McCotter, who resigned his seat in July after his campaign failed to turn in enough petitions to put him on the ballot.
A review by the Secretary of State's office found that most of the 2,000 total signatures were invalid. Numerous staffers previously employed by McCotter have been charged with various crimes related to campaign fraud.