Former state Sen. Loren Bennett, a Canton Republican, plans to wage a write-in campaign for the 11th Congressional District, setting up a battle with U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter, R-Livonia.
“We need someone who takes the job seriously,” Bennett said today. “Even though it’s an enormous uphill battle, I’m putting my name and reputation out there. I don’t know if I will be more successful than an incumbent in a write-in campaign. But after what has happened here, the public deserves a choice.”
Loren Bennett was last in elected politics during the 2002 campaign when he ran for Secretary of State, then dropping to be the Lt Governor nominee under Dick Posthumus. Bennett has an uphill road in this district, but he's won very difficult districts in the 90's. Granted he had some help at the top of the ticket in 94 and 98 with John Engler's blowout wins, but anyone who won what should be a strong lean or even safe democrat district should be taken seriously. It takes more than just coattails to survive that.
Bennett has three problems he has to get past.
1. He hasn't been in elected office in ten years.That's not always a dealbreaker for voters. Former State Rep Mike Green make a comeback eight years after his loss to Jim Barcia for a state senate district.
2. Very little of Bennett's state senate map overlaps the current 11th district.
3. It's a write in campaign, and McCotter's running as a write-in. That's not to mention who I think is the frontrunner - Kerry Bentivolio.
Now, Bennett won his state senate district in 98 by 3300 votes. That's was amazing given the district even then with different demographics, was democrat leaning. Bennett won Belleville, his part of Canton 2-1, Flat Rock, Huron Twp, Van Buren Twp, Woodhaven, and even Westland of all place. He lost Brownstown Twp, Rockwood, Romulus, Sumpter Twp, and Wayne. Van Buren Twp wasn't AS bad in 98 as it is today for Republicans, but still.Westland's been dem for ages.Romulus is 70%+ Dem. The only areas consistently competitive are Canton and Huron Township.However, with the new 11th, only Canton is in the district.
Canton's got a lot of people, but is he going to get the 25-30K in write ins just to have a ghost of a chance at this? Not from Canton alone, or even Canton and neighboring Plymouth and Livonia.
I think this race is Bentivolio's to lose, just by default by being on the ballot. 23k voters in the 8th primary in 2010 voted for a quitter. Bentivolio's not going to quit.