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Republicans Face Choice on Bentivolio Republicans Face Choice on Bentivolio

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Politics

Republicans Face Choice on Bentivolio

August 9, 2012
In interviews with multiple Detroit media outlets, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said he would support the nominee, but didn't attempt to hide his reluctance at doing so, pointing out where Bentivolio's libertarian beliefs clash with those of the party and making clear his backing was borne only out of obligation. While Republicans weigh the less-than-pleasant option of supporting a candidate they went to great lengths to avoid, Democrats -- seeing an opening -- are hitting the local GOP for its distaste with its own candidate. Internally, though, they are breathing a sigh of relief after their own primary -- one that illustrates the challenge Cassis faced in educating voters before a low-participation primary. Syed Taj, the Democratic favorite, won the nomination, but Bill Roberts -- whose campaign literature featured President Obama with a Hitler mustache and called for his impeachment -- garnered 41 percent of the vote. Democratic primary turnout jumped by nearly 10,000 from two years ago, but as party leaders had feared, many voters simply weren't informed enough to know that Roberts held views far from the Democratic mainstream. GOP turnout was almost exactly equal to the votes cast in McCotter's uncontested 2010 renomination, but that may not be the best judge of voters' engagement; redistricting changed the district's boundaries and shifted the electorate. Republicans are quick to point out that the write-in votes alone cast in their primary surpass Taj's total. But while the district's layout might afford the party an upper hand, it has little time to decide whether to give its stamp of approval to the candidate it had hoped to avoid.
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