McCotter's miscue puts seat at risk

May 30, 2012 at 8:55 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 30 (UPI) -- Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's failure to get the required number of signatures to be on Michigan's ballot may endanger the incumbent Republican seat, insiders said.

McCotter, who spent much of 2011 trying to give legs to his presidential campaign, has angered GOP insiders for potentially jeopardizing an otherwise safe seat and potentially expending resources, Roll Call reported Wednesday.

McCotter's campaign turned in less than a quarter of the signatures needed to seek the GOP nomination in the 11th Congressional District, which he's represented for five terms. On Tuesday, McCotter announced he initiated a write-in campaign for his party's nomination on Aug. 7.

"You're not going to have a community who's going to come behind him on this," said former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, a Republican. "I'm sure some folks who supported Congressman McCotter in the past aren't happy. Are they going to be there to support him? I don't know."

Publicly, House Republicans pledged to support McCotter's write-in campaign. Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that he would back McCotter's write-in effort and the National Republican Congressional Committee also pledged to help McCotter financially.

"I welcome their help if necessary as determined over the coming weeks," McCotter said.

McCotter will have to join the Patriot program, the NRCC's incumbent retention program that has campaign benchmarks that must be met, Roll Call said. House Republicans told the publication that meeting those benchmarks could be a problem for McCotter.

"I imagine this will be a nose-holding exercise of having to help someone help themselves," a top House GOP aide said.

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