Five days before Michigan voters will choose a new successor to the U.S. House seat vacated by former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, an already strange race took even a more bizarre turn when the brother of candidate Kerry Bentivolio called him "mentally unbalanced."
"I've never met anyone in my life who is conniving and dishonest as this guy," Phillip Bentivolio said, according to the subscription-only Michigan Information and Research Service, as referenced by Politico. "He's my brother so it's hard to talk about this, but I believe that if he gets elected, he'll eventually serve time in prison."
Phillip told MIRS that Kerry underwent electric shock treatments at the order of his father as a teenager after he was caught sniffing glue. Bentivolio's brother also said that Kerry owes him $20,000 for work he did helping his brother build homes in 1992.
Kerry Bentivolio asked the FBI to investigate his brother Philip, according to MIRS, saying that his brother has "serious mental issues."
Bentivolio is a teacher, Santa Claus impersonator and reindeer farmer who is favored to win Tuesday's contest for the 11th Congressional District seat in the Detroit suburbs. He's facing Syed Taj, an Indian-born doctor and businessman who serves on the town board for the town of Canton.
According to Politico, in old court documents Bentivolio was quoted saying that he had a “problem figuring out which one I really am, Santa Claus or Kerry Bentivolio.”
Writing about the election, AP's John Flesher noted, "A voter listening to exchanges between the two sides might think the choice is between a right-wing buffoon and a radical leftist with suspicious foreign ties."
Kerry Bentivolio defeated write-in candidate Nancy Cassis after receiving an estimated $300,000 from the Liberty For All Super-PAC, a Ron Paul-affiliated special interest group funded by the 21-year-old Texas financial heir John Ramsey.
Cassis dubbed him "Krazy Kerry" and denounced his role in a low-budget satire film released in 2011 that made reference to a conspiracy theory to explain the Sept 11, 2011 terrorist attacks.
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 once employed by McCotter have been charged with various crimes related to campaign fraud.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that a review by the Secretary of State's office found that most of the 2,000 total ballots were invalid. The Secretary of State's office found that most of the 2,000 total signatures were invalid.