U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan announced Saturday that he would not seek a sixth term through a write-in campaign after he failed to get enough signatures to get on the ballot.
McCotter ran a little-noticed Republican presidential campaign last year before asking voters to re-elect him to his Detroit-area congressional seat. He surprised everyone late last month when he announced the Michigan secretary of state's office had determined he didn't have the 1,000 valid signatures needed to get on the Aug. 7 primary ballot, even though 2,000 signatures were turned in.
A spokesman for the secretary of state has said only a couple hundred signatures appeared valid and many seemed to be copies.
McCotter initially said he would conduct a write-in campaign, while seeking an investigation into happened with his petitions. But Saturday, he issued a statement saying he could not cooperate with the investigation, fulfill his current duties and run a write-in campaign, so he was ending his candidacy.
"One can't clean up a mess multitasking," he said. "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."
He added that his decision was final "regardless of how swiftly the investigation is concluded."
With McCotter out of the race, two Republicans are running. Kerry Bentivolio, a Vietnam War veteran, teacher and beekeeper from Milford, is the only one on the Aug. 7 primary ballot. Former state Sen. Loren Bennett of Canton Township announced Friday he would run as a write-in candidate.