POLITICS
08/05/2014 09:38 pm ET Updated Aug 05, 2014

Kerry Bentivolio, 'Accidental Congressman,' Loses Primary To Romney-Backed David Trott

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio has lost the Republican primary for Michigan's 11th District, the Associated Press reports.

Bentivolio, the "accidental congressman" elected after veteran Rep. Thad McCotter failed to get on the ballot in 2012, was defeated by attorney David Trott in Tuesday's primary. Bentivolio was considered one of 2014's most vulnerable incumbents.

The intraparty battle shaped up to be one of this election cycle's strangest races. HuffPost's Samantha Lachman reported earlier this week:

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.) won almost inadvertently in 2012 after former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) failed to qualify for the Republican primary ballot and ultimately resigned his seat. Bentivolio, a former reindeer farmer and Santa Claus impersonator, has been polling poorly against attorney David Trott, Michigan's so-called "foreclosure king," who has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Bentivolio is just the third incumbent to lose a primary this election cycle, following Republican Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.) and Ralph Hall (Texas).

Below, more details from the Associated Press:

The 53-year-old Trott, who contributed nearly $2.5 million of his own money to his campaign, will face the winner of a four-way Democratic primary in the fall to represent the district covering a swath of Detroit's western and northern suburbs.

Bentivolio, 62, was the third U.S. House incumbent to lose this year after Texas Rep. Ralph Hall and former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia.

His defeat was not a surprise as Bentivolio was considered by some to be an "accidental" congressman. He was elected in 2012 because the Republican incumbent, former Rep. Thad McCotter, inexplicably turned in fraudulent voter signatures when seeking a spot on the ballot.

Bentivolio is a former teacher, auto designer and reindeer farmer who served in the Army and later the National Guard.

"While I served my country in two wars, he was serving foreclosure notices," Bentivolio said of Trott, whose company specializes in foreclosing on homes on behalf of banks and other lenders.

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 various chambers of commerce and other 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.

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