MI-11: Rep. Dave Trott (R) will not Seek Re-election

Sophomore Rep. Dave Trott (R) will not seek a third term in Congress.  Trott got elected to Congress in 2014 by beating accidental Congressman/Santa Claus impersonator Kerry Bentivolio in the GOP primary with the full support of the local Republican establishment. This R+4 district located northwest of Detroit voted for Donald Trump by a 50% to 45% margin in 2016 while Trott won 53% to 40% with Kerry Bentivolio running as an Independent getting 4% and a Libertarian taking 3%. In 2012 MI-11 vote for Romney 52% to 47% while Bentivolio won 50.8% to 44.44%.  But the right Democrat can win here. In 2014 Gary Peters won MI-11 49% to 47%.

Potential GOP candidates include former Rep. Kerry Bentivolio who at this point has returned to being a gadfly protest candidate.  Plymouth Township Supervisor and former state Rep. Kurt Heise might run. State Rep. Mike McCready and Rocky Raczkowski (who is term limited in 2018) could be potential candidates. Conservative state senator Patrick Colbeck, who is currently running for Governor, could drop down and run for MI-11. Moderate State senator Mike Kowall, who is currently running for Secretary of State, could drop down as well. Thad McCotter’s botched exit blocked State senator Marty Knollenberg from running in 2012. He could try again in 2018. State Rep. Jim Runestad is currently running for state Senate but he could potentially switch races. Former AG Mike Cox is from this district and could run and his wife state Rep. Laura Cox, who is exploring a state senate run, could run as well. Other state reps in the district include Jeff Noble, Kathy Crawford, Klint Kesto and Martin Howrylak. Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel lives in this district and could also be a potential candidate.

On the Democrat side their bench is fairly thin. Haley Stevens has been running since April and has raised about $320,000 while Fayrouz Saad has been running since July. State reps Tim Griemel and Dian Slavens live in the district. Former Rep. David Curson (who beat Kerry Bentivolio in the 2012 special election to serve out the final 2 months of Thad McCotter’s term under the old district lines) could run. 2016 candidate Anil Kumar could also make another run for Congress as well.


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  • Republican Michigander September 11, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    NYT actually got one right. Damn. I didn’t expect this.

    MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

  • MosheM September 11, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    2010 all over again in reverse.

    29, M, R, NY-10

    • Republican Michigander September 11, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      Too early to tell there.

      MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

  • Son_of_the_South September 11, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Does Colbeck drop down to this race?

    24, R, TN-09
    Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

  • Republican Michigander September 11, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    I’m doing some number crunching here. This district scares me because I expect a brutal primary as well as a tough general. A guy who would be a great fit for this district would be Jim Runestad, but he’s running for State Senate instead.

    MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

    • Tekzilla September 11, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      Any potential D’s worry you?

      36/M/NY-01 (D)

      • Republican Michigander September 11, 2017 at 1:23 pm

        I’m more worried about R infighting, but if he didn’t move to Detroit, Mike Duggan. Duggan’s from Livonia.

        The D’s are building a decent bench in Canton. Kristi Pagan. Dian or Mark Slavens would be tough. They used to have a good bench in Waterford , but I think the R’s knocked it out. Auburn Hills gets a lot of D state reps. The D’s are pushing Haley Stevens. She is an ex-treasury official from Birmingham. She’s running on Obama’s auto bailout.

        If there’s a strong D as (nonpartisan) mayor of Livonia, then that person would be potentially strong.

        MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

  • HS September 11, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    I assume Kerry Bentiovolo is planning to run?

    • Conservative First September 11, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      It depends whether his previous two runs were motivated by protest or vanity.

  • Conservative First September 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Potential candidates:
    State senator (10-18) Patrick Colbeck. Tea Party with a mainstream tone. Currently running for governor, could drop down.
    State senator (10-18) Mike Kowall. Moderate. Currently running for SOS.
    State senator (14-P) Marty Knollenberg. Wanted to run in 2012, but only about 40% of his district is in MI-11.
    State rep (14-P) Jim Runestad. Solid conservative, but friendly with establishment. Currently running for state senate.
    State rep (14-P) Laura Cox. Establishment. Seen as likely to run for state senate.
    Former AG (02-10) Mike Cox (Laura’s husband)
    Other state reps in the district include Jeff Noble, Kathy Crawford, Klint Kesto, Martin Howrylak.
    Former rep Kerry Bentivolio has run independent/third party the last two elections. He could try again, though he may have been more of a protest than a serious candidate.
    State reps Tim Griemel (12-18) and Dian Slavens (08-14) live here. Ds have very little bench, though.

    • davybaby September 11, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      I assume that Marty Knollenberg is a relative (son?) of ex-Rep. Joe Knollenberg (1992-08).

      • Conservative First September 11, 2017 at 5:49 pm

        Yes, Marty is Joe’s son.

  • Republican Michigander September 11, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Number crunching the best I can with the reprecincting in some areas that are split.

    Trump won the district – 49.56%-45.30%
    Romney won it 52.27%-46.90% (not counting portion of Rochester Hills)
    Bush won it around 56-43 (not counting West Bloomfield or Rochester Hills portion) – Bush actually won Canton twice before it stampeded left.
    Snyder won it 62.27%-36.05% – this was for re-election against a big labor candidate and before Flint water
    Obama won it in 2008 with 50.2%-48.3%.

    The areas that went D at least once are.

    Wayne County Portion
    Canton – Obama won it by 6000 over Romney and 7000 over McCain. Trump lost it by 7000 against Hillary. Bush actually won Canton twice.
    Plymouth (City) – Obama won it with 55% over McCain and 51% over Romney. Hillary won it 53%-40% with significant 3rd party bleed.
    Northville (City, Wayne Portion) Hillary won it 49-43%. Obama beat McCain 51-48%
    Livonia – Obama edged McCain by 160 votes.

    Farmington – This area is stampeding left. Bush won it twice, but Obama won 56-42 over McCain, 57-42 over Romney, and Hillary won it 57-37 over Trump.
    Northville (Oakland Portion) – Hillary edged Trump out by 20 votes.
    Novi – Obama beat McCain in this former GOP stronghold by 1100 and Hillary beat Trump by 1700.
    Novi Twp – One small precinct went narrowly for Hillary and Obama over McCain
    Wixom – The apartment complex flipped the city after the Ford Plant Closed. Obama won by 400 over McCain and 12 over Romney. Hillary beat Trump by 44
    Walled Lake – Obama beat McCain by 306. Romney recovered and won by 42. Trump did well here winning by 185
    West Bloomfield (portion) – While most of it is D, the part in the 11th usually goes R. It did except for McCain who cratered here 54-45.
    Waterford – Historically D until the 2000s. The R’s did well here except McCain who lost it by 2500 votes. Romney won it by 700. Trump won it by 5200.
    Troy – Obama beat McCain by about 270. Hillary beat Trump about 380. Troy is basically “Novi Northeast.”
    Auburn Hills – Almost always goes D
    Clawson – Leans D, but Bush won it in 2004 (lost it in 2000)
    Birmingham – Slightly Leans R usually, but McCain and Trump lost it badly.

    Areas Trump outperformed most presidential R’s:
    Waterford and Walled Lake were already mentioned.
    White Lake – Trump won it by 4500 (Bush won it by 3600, Romney by 2700)
    Commerce – Trump won it by 4550 (Bush won it by 4200, Romney by 3900)
    Highland – Trump won it by 3800 (Bush won it by 2700, Romney by 2500)

    What makes this district dangerous is the different bases. D’s just want a win here because they are frustrated at lack of wins here (outside Canton, Auburn Hills). R’s had a nasty primary in 2014 with Bentivolio and Trott after Bentivolio’s one term as the accidental congressman due to the petition issue. There’s a very strong tea party component, from Commerce to Milford area, and to a lesser extent South Lyon. That clashes with the Novi “establishment” wing as well as the Bloomfield establishments. Troy has a bit of infighting between both wings.

    R’s should win this in 2018 if R’s have their act together and have a candidate that can unite the wings.

    MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

  • Izengabe September 11, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Ronna Romney McDaniel lives in this district. I wonder if she would give up being RNC Chair to run for Congress.

    Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

    • davybaby September 11, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      Supposedly if Romney-Ryan had won in ’12 then Priebus was going to run in the special for Ryan’s seat.

  • StatenIslandTest September 11, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    I think this is lean R because of the bench but the Big 3 arent having a fantastic year not sure if it will matter in this management oriented district.

    31, Jersey City

    • Izengabe September 11, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      It’s Lean R because the Kid Rock wave will carry all downballot GOP candidates to victory!

      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

      • StatenIslandTest September 11, 2017 at 8:57 pm

        I dont know if he does better here or in Macomb though. I say this as someone very bullish on him too.

        31, Jersey City

        • Izengabe September 11, 2017 at 10:53 pm

          How crazy has our politics gotten in 2017? So bad that people can’t tell when I am joking! And when I say “people” I include myself in that!

          Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

  • jncca September 11, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Good to know “we” will not seek re-election. I didn’t know RRH was on the ballot!

    24, CA-6. Part Obama, Part May, Part Christian Democrat.

    • roguemapper September 11, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      Which raises the interesting question of how RRH would fare if it ran for Congress in each of the moderator’s home districts.

      Dem NC-11

      • Greyhound September 11, 2017 at 7:25 pm

        Depending on how you define “Home District”, the answer for me is either a “Hahaha” or an “Oh wait you were serious, let me laugh even harder–AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA”. MA-2 is definitely my best shot of all of them, and even then only in an “Maybe if the D incumbent was caught on live TV eating a baby”.

        R, 26, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

      • Republican Michigander September 11, 2017 at 9:19 pm

        Not a moderator, but I’m not doing it. I’d hate the job. Too much of a cost for too little benefit.

        There’s a reason why Joe Hune didn’t run for it, and it wasn’t because of his chances to win.

        MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

    • Greyhound September 11, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Well we’re not anymore, sadly.

      R, 26, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

    • Izengabe September 11, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      Dude, give me a break. I was writing this quickly on my phone while I was trying to get stuff done at work! As for RRH on the ballot go look up the write in votes for uncontested judicial elections in NYC. You will find a lot of votes for various RRH handles!

      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

  • Conservative First September 11, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    I’ll call this Likely R. Kerry Bentivolio, a very weak candidate, won by 6% in 2012, a bad year. Trott won by 15% and 13%.
    Trump won most precincts in the 2016 primary; Kasich won a handful.
    It remains to be seen whether Ds can find a credible candidate.

    • Red Oaks September 12, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Agreed on likely R. I grew up in what is now the 11th and most areas here are notably more Republican voting for downballot offices than Presidential races. Democrats have almost no notable partisan elected officials outside of Canton but they already tried running Canton based candidates in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Two names I haven’t heard mentioned are Louise Schilling and Dane Slater. Schilling is a former elected mayor of Troy (nonpartisan ballot) and has run as a Democrat in other partisan races. Slater is the current mayor of Troy and defeated Marty Knollenberg for that office a few years ago.

      MI-03: Tired of Presidency; Focused more on downballot races; Chris Afendoulis for State Senate

  • Republican Michigander September 12, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    I had some of the number crunching. MI-11 I had split in three areas in regards to my “Path to win or lose Michigan.” It can also show some of where the splits are.
    Most of it is in “Part 4” which I called “McCotterland” and covered a lot of the middle ring middle to upper middle class areas to affluent areas. Some of it was in part 3 (High money). The far western part of the Oakland County part of the district is part of “Part 8” and SE MI exurbs and rural commuters.



    MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

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