Reindeer rancher Kerry Bentivolio released his first television spot in the primary for the seat of retiring Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R).
It’s the strongest indication yet that the relatively unknown Republican is ready to fight former state Sen. Nancy Cassis, a write-in candidate, for the GOP nomination on Aug. 7.
After McCotter dropped his bid because of faulty ballot petitions, only a single Republican remained on the 11th district GOP ballot — Bentivolio. In early June, local Republican officials opted to support Cassis’ write-in bid instead of Bentivolio.
But Bentivolio made it on the airwaves first with a meager buy for his spot, “Protect the American Dream.” The advertisement’s announcer describes Bentivolio as a candidate “whose soul is etched with the values that made our country great,” citing his record as a veteran and commitment to low taxes.
Bentivolio’s campaign reports that it spent $10,000 on the spot across cable and the Internet but plans to spend more this week.
Cassis recently hired Jamestown Associates, a media firm, for her write-in bid. Her campaign has yet to air any advertisements.
Local Republicans view Cassis as the better candidate for this somewhat competitive district west of Detroit — if she can win the nomination through her write-in bid.