Flipping the primary script: GOP establishment candidate challenges tea party incumbent
August 5th, 2014
06:54 PM ET
1 month ago

Flipping the primary script: GOP establishment candidate challenges tea party incumbent

Updated 11:06 p.m. ET, 8/5/2014

(CNN) – The familiar 2014 narrative - tea party challenger takes on establishment GOP incumbent - was turned on its head Tuesday as Michigan voters headed to the polls in the state's Republican primary.

Challenger Brian Ellis, a wealthy businessman who has support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, hoping to unseat two-term Rep. Justin Amash, came up short.

Amash will beat Ellis in the GOP contest for the state's 3rd Congressional District, CNN projects.

Fewer wins this time, but tea party has changed the GOP

Amash, a libertarian who won his seat in the 2010 tea party-fueled wave that landed Republicans in the House majority, is known in Washington for bucking the GOP establishment, voting against Republican bills he sees as not conservative enough.

Key races to watch in 2014

Amash will go on to face Democrat Bob Goodrich, who is running unopposed in his party's primary, in November's general election

Another unique race that played out in the Great Lakes State involved Kerry Bentivolio, who represents Michigan's 11th Congressional District.

Facing a touch primary challenge, Bentivolio, deemed the "accidental candidate" after his win two years ago, lost Tuesday to businessman and lawyer David Trott, who received endorsements from former presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the Tea Party Express.

Bentivolio was sent to Washington by Michigan voters by chance after his predecessor, Thaddeus McCotter, resigned from Congress, four months before the 2012 congressional election.

McCotter ended his fifth term in Congress after the state attorney general found that he did not have the required number of signatures for placement on the district’s primary ballot and that the names submitted "included duplicate signatures and the appearance of altered petitions."

McCotter's exit left Bentivolio, a reindeer farmer and a much lesser known tea party-backed candidate, as the only Republican on the district's ballot that election.

Complete coverage of the 2014 midterm elections

Related: How Mitch McConnell crushed the tea party

Graham on primary victory: 'Politics is war in another form'

Six weeks later, McDaniel challenges Mississippi runoff result


Filed under: 2014 • Michigan • Republican Party
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. ja

    Don't we have enough covert racism in the GOP, without the tea party

    August 5, 2014 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  2. mike

    And Liberals won't debate you without a teleprompter LOL

    August 5, 2014 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  3. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Do what patriots did in 1773 and DUMP the TEA!!

    August 5, 2014 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  4. Thomas

    Mitt Romney and the Tea Party Express.

    Just when you think things might change .

    August 6, 2014 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  5. salty dog

    Watch Michigan turn blue this year, one can hope anyway. Our constitution has been trampled by our house in the last two years, enough!

    August 6, 2014 07:08 am at 7:08 am |