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Congressional candidates' dispute prompts $10M lawsuit

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

A former Michigan 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 this week on behalf of Kerry Bentivolio in Oakland County Circuit Court seeks $10 million in damages from Rocky Raczkowski (roch-KOF'-skee). Both want the Republican nomination.

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 — a former reindeer farmer, teacher and auto designer — represented the GOP-leaning 11th District in suburban Detroit for one term in 2013-14. He lost in the primary to Republican Dave Trott, who is retiring after two terms. Several other candidates are seeking the seat.

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