June 30, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Romney backs Trott over tea party favorite Bentivolio at Troy campaign event

Troy — Oakland County attorney Dave Trott, locked in a GOP primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Milford for the 11th Congressional District seat, welcomed the support Monday of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Romney, the unsuccessful 2012 GOP presidential nominee, appeared at an event in Troy to give Trott his endorsement over incumbent Bentivolio, a tea party favorite.

Bentivolio has held the 11th district seat since 2013 after Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Livonia, resigned in July 2012 because of a petition fraud scandal.

“This is a good man,” Romney said about Trott. “There are some people in politics who are really good at talking — talking and campaigning, ranting and raving. But in terms of getting anything done, they just don’t do it. This is a guy who spent his life actually getting things done. ...

“This is a guy who is going to Washington, not just to fight, but to win.”

The arrival of Romney, who could again decide to run for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in two years, is a high-profile endorsement for a congressional primary.

Bentivolio was unlikely to receive the backing of a mainstream GOP official such as Romney.

“We’ve knocked on over 12,000 doors, we’ve made 10,000 phones calls, and we have everything in place to win on Aug. 5,” Trott said Monday. “Governor, thank you for the endorsement. I will do my best to be worthy of your trust and confidence.”

While Trott was preparing to host Romney at the Marriott in Troy, U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio was presenting a Korean War Service Medal to 92-year-old John Markham, a veteran of both World War II and the Korean conflict, during a mid-afternoon ceremony in Farmington.

Bentivolio is a veteran of the Vietnam and Iraq wars and often cites his military service when contrasting himself with Trott, a Birmingham attorney who runs a foreclosure business.

“It’s interesting how (Romney’s) going to support someone who kicked out 80,000 families in one year in a foreclosure business versus a guy who served his country in two wars. What does that tell you about Mitt Romney?” Bentivolio told The Detroit News.

“That’s the establishment Republicans — they don’t like regular people.”

jlynch@detroitnews.com