Detroit Free Press backs Amash, Bentivolio challenger

The Detroit Free Press is supporting Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and the businessman challenging Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.), endorsing two likely winners ahead of next Tuesday's primary.

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The paper endorsed Amash over businessman Brian Ellis (R), who has struggled to connect in his race against the libertarian hero despite some support from establishment and business groups.

It also endorsed businessman Dave Trott (R), the establishment candidate challenging gadfly freshman Bentivolio.

Bentivolio won his seat because he was the only other Republican on the ballot when then-Rep. Thad McCotter (R-Mich.) failed to submit enough valid ballot signatures, and has done little to shore up his status since then, spending more time warring with former campaign managers and taking potshots at outside groups than building support in the district.

Neither endorsement is ringing — the liberal-leaning paper writes that "against all odds [Amash] is the more reasonble GOP voice for this race," and calls Trott "unimaginative and inexperienced."

"Incumbent Rep. Justin Amash's staunch Libertarian views make him one of the more ideologically inflexible members of Congress. That's sometimes a good thing, as with his unbending opposition to encroachments on civil liberties and the continued incarceration of prisoners at Guantanamo. But Amash's rigidity is more frequently an impediment to successful collaboration with other members of Congress, including those in his own party," the paper writes. "Still, Amash, 34, serves this west Michigan district honorably, even if many within the GOP establishment regard him as unreliable and uncooperative."

The paper also knocks Trott before ripping into Bentivolio.

"Trott is an unimaginative and inexperienced candidate whose policy views are not significantly more moderate than Bentivolio's," the editorial board says. "But Bentivolio’s bizarre refusal to participate in any public dialogue during the primary campaign disqualifies him as a viable choice for any serious voter. David Trott gets our endorsement in the Republican primary by default."

 

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