Nancy Cassis, Kerry Bentivolio both confident for Michigan's 11th District seat

Cassis will try to win district as write-in; Bentivolio is only candidate on ballot

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

NOVI, Mich. -

When Thaddeus McCotter failed to get enough signatures to run for his re-election there was only name left on the ballot for Michigan's 11th District seat: Kerry Bentivolio.

Bentivolio was a relatively unknown politician. Now, not only is he known but he is running against aggressive write-in candidate Nancy Cassis.

Every political strategist says write-in campaigns are virtually impossible to win. However, former state Senator Cassis could care less what the pundits say. She is going for it. Moreover, she has the backing of the Republican party movers and shakers, and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.

"They're not typically done and that's why we had to not only introduce ourselves but teach (voters) how to do a write-in," Cassis said.

She has been educating voters on what it takes to write in her name on the ballot. It's something many voters are not used to doing. Oakland County Clerk Bill Bullard's staff is prepared to handle what has become a very unusual election.

Bentivolio's name will appear on the ballot. She has kept a very low media profile since McCotter's implosion. Only after a long off-camera discussion did he agree to do an interview with Local 4.

He made it clear he does not think the process and several of his fellow Republicans have been particularly fair to him. Still, Bentivolio is going into Tuesday believing he will win his party's nomination.

"We're going to win by a large margin," he said. "I think people are waking up and they can see through the smoke, lies, half truths and the distortion."

Both candidates are feeling confident going into the last 72 hours before election day. Polling suggests Cassis is way ahead but a write-in campaign is anything but certain.

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