Thaddeus McCotter ends his write-in campaign and says his sole focus as U.S. Representative is finishing his term and aiding his requested Attorney General probe.While it's stunning that McCotter's political career will come to an end like this, it's less surprising to see him quit at this point, given how the situation has unfolded over the past week (when news of McCotter's ballot access screw-up first surfaced). To win the GOP nomination, McCotter would have had to wage a difficult and expensive write-in campaign, and he had less than $200K in the bank (plus a bunch of debt left over from his joke of a presidential campaign). McCotter also faced the specter of an ongoing criminal investigation into the fraudulent petitions he filed that caused this whole mess. And on top of that, local Republicans almost seemed eager to get rid of him, with a barrage of stories in the press about former allies now abandoning him and fellow party members also considering their own write-in campaigns.
“I have ended my write-in campaign in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District,” announced McCotter in an email sent to WWJ Newsradio 950 on Saturday.
“One can’t clean up a mess multitasking. Honoring my promise to the sovereign people of our community only allows me to finish the official duties of my present Congressional term; and aid the State Attorney General criminal investigation that I requested into identifying the person or persons who concocted the fraudulent petitions that have cost me so dearly.
Indeed, this news comes right on the heels of another local official announcing just that: On Friday afternoon, former state Sen. Loren Bennett, who hails from McCotter's Wayne County, said that he, too, would run as a write-in. Winning his own write-in campaign would have been hard enough for McCotter; if the GOP establishment were instead to coalesce around Bennett (as I'm guessing they now may), it would have been impossible.
Bennett will still have a difficult time securing the Republican nomination: Tea partier Kerry Bentivolio is already on the ballot, and at least two other local pols have suggested they might go write-in as well, state Sen. Mike Kowall and former state Rep. Rocky Raczkowski. Democrats also have a legitimate candidate here in the form of physician Syed Taj, though he'll first have to beat LaRouchie nutcase William Roberts in the primary. Barack Obama won this swingish district 50-48 (even after it was made redder in redistricting), so this seat is potentially very much in play. At the very least, it's a serious headache for Republicans—and a major black eye for McCotter and his party.