District 11: U.S. Rep. Trott defeats Democrat Kumar

Jonathan Oosting, and Keith Laing

Republican U.S. Rep. David Trott defeated Democratic challenger Anil Kumar on Tuesday, winning re-election to congress for a second term.

U.S. Rep. Dave Trott, R-Birmingham

Trott, R-Troy, was leading Trott 53 percent to 40 percent in the 11th Congressional District race with 97 percent of precincts reporting vote totals, according to the Associated Press, which declared Trott the winner.

The race generated little interest from outside groups despite Trott’s status as a first-term representative and Democrat’s belief that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump could be a drag in a district that includes parts of Oakland and western Wayne counties, including the population centers of Livonia, Canton Township, Troy, Waterford, Rochester and West Bloomfield.

Kumar, a 65-year-old Bloomfield Hills doctor and chief of surgery at Crittenton Hospital, loaned his campaign more than $750,000 but was still unable to match Trott’s total fund-raising haul, and the incumbent easily outspent him on television advertising.

Trott. R-Troy, is a longtime attorney with former businesses in title insurance and foreclosure processing. The 56-year-old was also a major Republican fundraiser before joining Congress, where he is considered one of its richest members.

Trott first won election in 2014 after defeating then-Republican Rep. Kerry Bentivolio in the GOP primary and cruising to a nearly 16-point victory over Democrat Bobby McKenzie in the general election.

Bentivolio, 65, collected enough signatures to qualify for the 2016 ballot as an independent. The Milford resident acknowledged he was unlikely to win the race but said he wanted to provide another option for voters who did not like Trott.

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, emerged as a top issue in the race, and recently announced premium hikes may have benefited Trott. Starting in January, Michigan residents will pay an average of 16.7 percent more for individual insurance plans offered through the federal health exchange.

As a medical professional, Kumar acknowledged flaws with President Barack Obama’s signature health care law but said several provisions made it worth saving and fixing. Trott has voted to repeal the law and supports alternative ideas proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan.

A member of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, Trott has introduced eight bills or resolutions so far during his first term, mostly dealing with international affairs and finance. His proposal to combat predatory organ trafficking passed the House, but none of his bills have been approved yet by the Senate.