Rather than back the only member of their party who qualified for the ballot in the 11th District, local Republican officials have chosen to support former state Sen. Nancy Cassis in a write-in campaign to replace Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich, The Detroit News reported. McCotter announced earlier this month that he will retire at the end of 2012 after he failed to make the ballot because of a number of invalid petition signatures. He also endorsed Cassis on Thursday.
In choosing to endorse Cassis, the local party establishment rebuked tea party candidate Kerry Bentivolio, whose name will appear on the Aug. 7 primary ballot after he gathered more than the 1,000 signatures required. Those Republicans expressed concern that Bentivolio, who says he emulates Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is too "radical" to win the seat in November.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Bentivolio's campaign lashed out at the "party bosses and career politicians" in a fundraising letter last week for passing him over in favor of Cassis.
Although the district is 55 percent Republican, Democrats hope that McCotter's retirement and the Republican Party's divide give them a chance at a pickup.