Voters in Oakland and Wayne counties headed to the polls today, Wednesday, Sept. 5 to pick the Republican Party’s nominee in an 11th Congressional District special primary election race.
Squaring off in the election are Milford Republican Kerry Bentivolio; former state Sen. Nancy Cassis of Novi; and Kenneth Crider, Carolyn Kavanagh, and Steve King, all of Livonia.
David A. Curson of Belleville is the lone Democrat who filed to run for the current 11th Congressional District seat that former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter vacated in July following a petition signature scandal that last month resulted in felony and misdemeanor charges being filed against four former members of his Livonia office staff.
Curson and the winner of tonight’s special Republican primary election will face off on Nov. 6, when a special general election will be held — the winner will serve the remaining weeks of McCotter’s unexpired term.
Voters in the new 11th Congressional District that day will also choose between Bentivolio and the Democratic Party’s nominee, Dr. Syed Taj of Canton, to serve a full two-year term.
U.S. representatives serve two-year terms and are currently paid $174,000.
Tonight’s election results are considered unofficial until certified by the boards of canvassers of both Wayne and Oakland counties.
Spinal Column Newsweekly News Editor Tim Dmoch and Assistant News Editor Kirk Pinho bring you tonight’s special primary election coverage.
It appears as though Bentivolio has won the GOP nomination to contend for the 11th Congressional District seat vacated by former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter.
According to unofficial election results from Wayne County, Bentivolio received 6,621 votes (40.38 percent) to Cassis’ 5,170 (31.53 percent) from that county.
However, in Oakland County the race was much closer, with just 25 votes separating Bentivolio (3,659 votes; 43.79 percent) and Cassis (3,634 votes; 43.49 percent), unofficial tallies showed.
According to unofficial results, Livonia Republicans King, Kavanagh and Crider captured just over 1,000 total votes in Oakland County and around 4,500 votes between the three of them in Wayne County, their home base.
“Kerry is pleased to be nominated by the voters of the 11th District a second time,” said Bob Dindoffer, Bentivolio’s campaign manager said in a text message to the Spinal Column Newsweekly. Dindoffer was referring to the Aug. 7 primary election in which Bentivolio easily defeated Cassis, who ran as a write-in candidate for the Republican nomination.
“He thinks it is time for everyone to unite to defeat (Democratic Party nominee) Syed Taj. Taj wants to raise taxes and wants to expand ObamaCare into a single-payer (health care) system. What we need is more job creators and more jobs, not more bureaucrats getting between us and our businesses or getting between us and our doctors.”
Bentivolio will face Curson in the special general election on Nov. 6 and will face Taj in the regular general election, also on Nov. 6.
The winner of the special general election will fill the remainder of McCotter’s unexpired term.
The winner of the regular general election will serve a two-year term that pays $174,000 per year.
With 190 of 222 precincts reporting in Wayne County, Bentivolio holds a 39.7 percent (5,359 votes) to 30.6 percent (4,131 votes) lead over Cassis in that county.
Kerry Bentivolio, according to unofficial results, has taken the Oakland County Republican vote by 25 votes: 3,659 to Nancy Cassis’ 3,634. That’s with all 85 Oakland County precincts reporting. We still have Wayne County numbers to crunch, though.
Wayne County results are coming in. Thirty-three precincts of 222 are reporting Bentivolio taking 42 percent (2,103 votes) of the Wayne County GOP vote with Cassis taking 30 percent (1,522 votes).
Yet in Oakland County, just nine votes separate Bentivolio (3,598 votes) and Cassis (3,589 votes) with 83 of 85 precincts reporting.
This could be a close one. Stay tuned.
It continues to be a tight race between Bentivolio and Cassis in Oakland County, as less than 100 votes separate the two GOP candidates among Republican voters here. Bentivolio has 3,123 votes, while Cassis has 3,031 with 64 out of 85 precincts reporting.
Unofficial vote totals from Wayne County, which a significant portion of the 11th Congressional District represents, remain forthcoming as of this posting.
Vote totals are coming in more completely in Oakland County with 55 of 85 precincts reporting. The race between Bentivolio and Cassis for the 11th Congressional District GOP nomination has narrowed, with Bentivolio’s lead at 45-43 (2,806 votes to 2,682 votes).
It’s still early though, and we’re still waiting on results from Wayne County.
In Oakland County, Cassis narrows the differential with 27 out of 85 precincts reporting (4,087 Republican votes): Bentivolio has 48 percent (1,944) of the vote while the former state senator has 41 percent (1,693).
With 2,600 Oakland County Republican votes, Bentivolio maintains a double-digit lead over Cassis, 51-38. Bentivolio has 1,327 votes while Cassis has 992, with 14 of 85 precincts reporting.
Preliminary results from Wayne County, where King, Kavanagh and Crider have a bit more name recognition as Livonia Republicans, are still forthcoming.
With 13 of 85 Oakland County precincts reporting, Bentivolio has 1,068 (50 percent) votes to Cassis’ 828 (39 percent) votes in Oakland County.
The Livonia Republicans still lag far behind in the single-digits here in Oakland County.
As of this posting, 2,137 GOP ballots had been cast in Oakland County.
Oakland Republican votes are now at 1,270, with Bentivolio’s lead here in Oakland at 49-41 over Cassis. He has 625; Cassis has 515.
Oakland advantage continues to swing Bentivolio’s way: 416 votes to Cassis’ 325. That’s an 11-point differential here in Oakland County. None of the Livonia Republicans have more than 38 votes up here, according to unofficial results.
Decent jump in the numbers reporting as 203 Republicans in Oakland County have cast their ballots for Bentivolio, while Cassis has 175 here in Oakland. King, Crider and Kavanagh are all lagging behind the two Oakland County natives.
Very early into the returns from the polls, Bentivolio has 36 votes in Oakland County while Cassis has 31. The three Livonia Republicans have a combined total of 17 votes in Oakland County.
Bentivolio and Cassis have name recognition in Oakland County; the three Livonia Republicans, for the large part, do not.
It is 8 p.m. and the polls are now closed. We’ll be bringing you results as soon as they start coming in.