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OK, it looks like the pie-in-the-sky speculation yesterday that no one would run in the MI-11 Thad McCotter ClusterFuck Special Election was wrong:

Michigan: Count Cassis in for Special Election

Former state Sen. Nancy Cassis (R) will run in the special election for former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s (R-Mich.) seat, her campaign confirmed Wednesday.

Cassis joins reindeer rancher Kerry Bentivolio (R) in the special primary on Sept. 5, the winner of which will run in the Nov. 6 special election to serve out the final few weeks of McCotter’s term.

The special primary marks the second time in a month the two Republicans will face each other for the west Detroit district. After McCotter dropped his re-election bid, Bentivolio was the only candidate left on the Aug. 7 Republican ballot.

Many local GOP officials are supporting Cassis as a write-in candidate for a full term on the GOP ballot instead.

So, for those of you following this mess at home, Thad McCotter, the 5-term incumbent GOP Congressman who plays guitar badly, went from trying to run for President (for about 5 minutes), to screwing up (via incompetence or criminal fraud) his own re-election petitions, to announcing his retirement, to flat-out resigning with six months left in his term, the day after it was revealed that he's been working on a TV series about "drinking, sex, race, flatulence, puking and women's anatomy."

No, really.

All of this has resulted in the following situation:

For the full 2-year term in the NEW 11th district:

--On the Republican side, the normal August Primary will include a teabagger reindeer rancher (seriously) named Kerry Bentivolio as the only name on the ballot, who will be challenged by former state Senator Nancy Cassis via a write-in campaign.

--On the Democratic side, Canton Councilman, former Oakwood Hospital Chief of Medicine and all around good egg Dr. Syed Taj will be on the ballot, challenged by Lyndon LaRouche-following, Obama-as-Hitler-photo-posting nutbag Bill Roberts.

For the special, 7-week term (5 weeks of which Congress is out of session) in the OLD 11th district:

--On the Republican side, the special September Primary will include both Bentivolio and Cassis. Cassis can use the extra election to beef up her fundraising for November.

--On the Democratic side, Dr. Taj has (wisely in my opinion) decided to take a pass. While running in the Special would allow him to double up on fundraising, it would also cause massive confusion in November, since some people would check off his name once but forget to do so the second time. Plus, it lets him concentrate his resources on the actual full term instead of getting sidetracked by yet another petition signature push, and also lets him point out that he isn't responsible for wasting $650,000 of the taxpayer's money on the Special. No idea whether the LaRouchie plans on running or not, however.

Either way, this mess is gonna cause massive confusion all around, especially since the Special takes place only in the old 11th district while the General takes place in the new 11th district. Even worse, when the new districts were formed, local municipalities often redrew their precinct lines as well, which means that there may be some precincts that have to have 2 different ballots printed for INDIVIDUAL VOTERS.

Yes, that's right: In some cases, when voters show up at the polls in November, they may very well have to have their names checked to see which specific version of the ballot they receive.

Add this to the whole Photo ID brouhaha and you have a recipe for total disaster at the polls, regardless of party.

So, the possible scenarios for the General could be:

1. LaRouchie wins the Dem Primary (let's hope not!). If that happens, it doesn't matter what happens on the GOP side, since it'd either be a "normal" Republican (nutbag), a Teabagger Republican (nutbag) or a LaRouche "Dem" (nutbag).

2. Taj wins the Dem Primary; Cassis manages to win her write-in campaign in the GOP Primary. If this happens, Dr. Taj's chances are poor...but still much better than if McCotter hadn't had his meltdown.

3. Taj wins the Dem Primary; Bentivolio wins the GOP Primary. This is our best-case scenario, since it'd be a mainstream, likeable Democrat with solid credentials (remember, he's not just a physician, he was the Chief of Medicine at a local hospital) and a solid base of support (Canton/Plymouth has a large Indian population) vs. a fringe teabagger who the establishment GOP doesn't like.

Meanwhile, let's show Dr. Taj some love; he has a real shot at this.

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