11th congressional district - already interesting - gets more so, with Cassis decision

Aug 14, 2012

Republican Nancy Cassis says she will run in the September 5th special election in the 11th Congressional District.

The election was called to fill the few months remaining in the term, after the resignation of Thaddeus McCotter.

Cassis lost the August primary as a write-in, and she can't run in November unless it's also as a write-in candidate.

But Cassis says her name is on the ballot for the special election. So, even though it's just for a few months -- and it's a lame-duck session - she owes it to her dedicated volunteers to run.

"If I can serve my party well in that function, I am more than happy to work for my party and the Republican principles that we hold so dear," Cassis told Michigan Radio.

The campaign of Kerry Bentivolio issued a statement expressing disappointment in Cassis's decision and urging her to withdraw.

Bentivolio won the primary with Tea Party support.  His was the only Republican name left on the ballot after McCotter suddenly withdrew.

Cassis ran a write-in campaign, and says she was ahead in the race just a few weeks before the election - until a Tea Party PAC poured $650,000 into Bentivolio's campaign.

Cassis says she'd like to see campaign finance laws about PAC spending be more transparent.

She says she won't endorse Bentivolio because he ran an unfair, "scorched earth" campaign. 

Bentivolio also starred in a film that, tongue-in-cheek or not - no one really knows - suggests that George W. Bush ordered the attacks on the twin towers on 9-11.

But she says she would also not endorse Bentivolio's democratic challenger, Syed Taj, a Canton physician.

The 11th Congressional District was represented for many years by Thaddeus McCotter, who also ran for the Republican presidential nomination.

McCotter resigned from his seat in Congress after his campaign failed to turn in enough valid signatures to get him on the August primary ballot.

Three of his campaign staff have been charged with election fraud, after investigators found many of the signatures were from previous years' petitions, and had been crudely cut and pasted onto the nominating petitions.