Northern Michigan tea party favorite wins re-election

Republican Rep. Dan Benishek wins rematch with Democratic challenger Gary McDowell

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Northern Michigan Republican Rep. Dan Benishek.

DETROIT - Northern Michigan Republican Rep. Dan Benishek has won his rematch with Democratic challenger Gary McDowell.

Benishek is a Crystal Falls physician who won the 1st District in 2010 with tea party support after longtime Democratic incumbent Bart Stupak stepped down.

The two jostled for the top spot as vote totals slowly trickled in Wednesday morning.

McDowell is a former state lawmaker from Rudyard who also lost to Benishek in 2010. He had accused the congressman of putting ideology ahead of his constituents' needs.

National Democrats hoped McDowell could tap into perceived voter discontent over his opponent's vote to cut rural airline subsidies and failure to seek federal funding for other projects.

Benishek says voters sent him to Washington to reduce the deficit and that's what he's been trying to do.


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