Speed Reads

2014 Watch

Tea Party Rep. Kerry Bentivolio loses Republican primary in landslide to party establishment's Dave Trott

One more incumbent House member has been defeated in a Republican primary — but this time, it's a victory by the GOP establishment over an offbeat Tea Party politician, with businessman Dave Trott defeating Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (pictured) in Michigan's 11th District.

With 64 percent of precincts reporting, Trott has a landslide victory with 66 percent of the vote, compared to Bentivolio at only 34 percent; The Associated Press has declared Trott as the winner.

Bentivolio, an obscure reindeer farmer in 2012, emerged as the surprise Republican nominee and general election winner in this GOP-leaning district, after he had qualified for the GOP primary ballot — but in a very surprising development the longtime incumbent Rep. Thaddeus McCotter did not qualify, after it was revealed that the latter's campaign had turned in fraudulent petition signatures, and had even been doing so for multiple election cycles.

Since then, Bentivolio has emerged as a Tea Party–aligned member who could cause some public headaches for the Republican leadership — such as when he said last year that it would be a "dream come true" to impeach President Obama. This time around, the party lined up behind Trott, including a high-profile endorsement and campaign visit by Mitt Romney.

The race for the Democratic nomination is currently a close result. As of this writing the national Democrats' favored candidate, former U.S. State Department counterterrorism official Bobby McKenzie, is tied with medical doctor Anil Kumar at 33 percent each. In a very positive sign for McKenzie, however, more precincts are still unreported from Wayne County, where he has been running much stronger.