Election: Defeated Syed S. Taj, D, to succeed Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R, who resigned
Born: Oct. 6, 1951; Royal Oak, Mich.
Religion: Roman Catholic
Family: Wife, Karen Bentivolio; two children
Education: Michigan State U., attended 1989; Oakland Community College, attended 1971-83; Michigan State U., attended 1972-75; St. Maryís College (Michigan), B.A. 1999 (social science); Marygrove College, M.A. 2001 (education)
Military: Army 1970-71; Mich. National Guard 1974; Mich. National Guard 1990-2009
Career: Farmer; teacher; homebuilder; auto worker
Political highlights: Sought Republican nomination for Mich. Senate, 2010
Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich. (11th District)
leaning Bentivolio secured his first elected position by running as an outsider, even battling the local GOP establishment during the primary. Although his campaign materials included the broad outlines of a tea party platform, he generally avoided the media and provided few details of his agenda.
Bentivolio came under fire in August from the Detroit Free Pressí opinion editor, who dubbed him a ìpolitical hermitî with a ìpattern of dodging not just media, but the people he seeks to represent.î
Bentivolio tops his online list of priorities with a pledge to protect Americansí right to bear arms. However, that list doesnít delve into defense and veterans issues, despite his military service in the Vietnam and Iraq wars. He also makes no mention of the nationís education system, although he worked as a teacher.
Bentivolioís declared agenda concentrates more on business and economic issues, a reflection of his experiences as a small-business owner and farmer. Bentivolio raises reindeer in Milford and works as a Santa-for-hire.
He supports overhauling the tax code to create a flat, broad structure and lower business taxes, and he generally opposes government incentives that buoy some businesses and industries over others.
He worries that entitlement programs are leading the country toward financial crisis, and he supports reducing, eliminating or replacing them. He says he would back a balanced-budget amendment as a means to force lawmakers to act.
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