Despite being rejected by voters several times, former Congressman Kerry Bentivolio says he is forming an exploratory committee to run again.

The Milford Republican is an Army veteran and former teacher at Fowlerville High School. He lost the 11th District seat in 2014 to current Republican Congressman Dave Trott, who recently announced he will not seek re-election. The 66-year-old Bentivolio said the district needs a “principled conservative” who isn’t “owned by special interests.” He would join an already crowded GOP field to replace Trott, with four Republicans already officially in the race, including businesswoman Lena Epstein, former state House majority floor leader Rocky Raczkowski of Farmington Hills, Plymouth Township supervisor Kurt Heise and state Rep. Klint Kesto of Commerce Township. State Sen. Mike Kowall of White Lake and State Rep. Laura Cox of Livonia are also said to be considering bids.

Bentivolio was a long-shot for the 11th District seat in 2012 who was left as the lone Republican in the race after former Congressman Thaddeus McCotter dropped out of the race due to a petition signature scandal. He lost to Trott in the August 2014 Republican primary and launched a write-in campaign for the general election, which he lost by an almost 2-1 margin. He made an independent run for the seat in 2016 but received less than 5% of the vote.

Democrats seeking the 11th district seat include former Obama Administration official Haley Stevens, Detroit’s former director of immigration affairs Fayrouz Saad and Birmingham entrepreneur Dan Haberman. Bentivolio said that the “election of President Trump shows that in the fight between the people and the swamp, the people are winning,” but added that “one election won’t change things.” Bentivolio has until April of next year to file for the GOP primary in August of 2018. (JK)