By KATHY BARKS HOFFMAN, Associated Press – 3 hours ago
BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (AP) — All had their reasons for seeking the congressional seat in the wealthy Detroit suburbs where Mitt Romney grew up. But none could have expected to win — until now.
As the result of the shocking political collapse of a veteran Republican congressman, four unlikely contenders — a Lyndon LaRouche admirer, a little known school teacher who raises reindeer, a Democratic longshot and a new write-in candidate— find themselves competing for a prize long seen as spoken for and safely Republican.
The prospect of losing a safe seat has left leading Republicans scrambling to contain the damage just as they were mustering for the fight to retain control of the House in the November.
"It was an unnecessary blunder that put us all into overdrive," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, referring to the election irregularities that prompted Rep. Thaddeus McCotter to drop out of the race a week ago. On Thursday, Patterson and other GOP officials enlisted a former state senator, Nancy Cassis, to join the campaign as a write-in candidate.