Reindeer farmer and high school teacher Kerry Bentivolio easily prevailed in a Michigan GOP congressional primary August 7 to replace U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter against a well-funded establishment insurgency by former state senator Nancy Cassis, 66-34.
Bentivolio did have a significant advantage in the race: He was the only one on the ballot after the incumbent McCotter failed to submit enough signatures to get on the ballot this year. McCotter later dropped out of the race. When the high school teacher became the likely GOP nominee, the GOP establishment rallied against the Ron Paul fan and Federal Reserve critic, eventually settling on Cassis, who put up $200,000 of her own money in what turned out to be a failed write-in campaign. While Cassis had the endorsement of much of the GOP establishment, Bentivolio had won the endorsement of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, his son Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and Michigan Congressman Justin Amash.
Bentivolio also benefited from outside support; the Texas-based Liberty for All Super-PAC invested $650,000 in Bentivolio’s victory in the weeks before the primary. “Now we have another principled Constitutionalist to fight for our freedom in Congress,” the Super-PAC boasted on its Facebook page after results of the primary were reported.