The fall of Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., created an opening for tea party challenger Kerry Bentivolio to run for a full term, and the five-term congressman's sudden resignation may have afforded Bentivolio another advantage in the special election.
The Milford teacher is so far the only candidate on the primary ballot to confirm his candidacy in the 11th District special election, which will fill the remaining six weeks of McCotter's term. This dual candidacy enables Bentivolio to collect double the amount of contributions from his supporters — an edge that could benefit him as he takes on former Republican state Sen. Nancy Cassis, a write-in candidate, in the special election.
A Democratic challenger has yet to emerge in the special election.
The resignation of Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., and the death of Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., created similar situations in Washington's 1st and New Jersey's 10th Districts, respectively. Four of the five Democratic primary challengers in Washington agreed not to run in the special election, and Donald Payne Jr. cruised to victory in the special and full-term primaries for his father's old seat.