A former congressman who is running for his old seat is suing an opponent for what he calls a malicious defamation campaign about his military record.

A lawsuit was filed this week on behalf of Kerry Bentivolio in Oakland County Circuit Court seeking $10 (m) million in damages from Rocky Raczkowski. Both want the Republican nomination for the 11th District seat. Bentivolio lives in Milford and is an Army veteran and former teacher at Fowlerville High School. The lawsuit alleges Raczkowski told others at political gatherings that Bentivolio's military record is made up. Raczkowski says the lawsuit is "frivolous" and he expects it to be dismissed.

Bentivolio represented the GOP-leaning 11th District for one term after being elected in 2012. He lost in the primary to Republican Dave Trott in 2014 and launched a write-in campaign that year 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. Trott is retiring after two terms. Several other candidates are seeking the seat. (JM/JK)