Meet the two candidates facing off for a full term to replace Thaddeus McCotter

(WXYZ) - The two candidates facing off for a full two-year term in Congress to represent Michigan's 11 th Congressional District are Democrat Syed Taj and Republican Kerry Bentivolio.

Bentivolio, 60, is a former American History teacher at Fowlerville High School and now raises reindeer at his home in Milford. He says spending in Washington is out of control, one of the concerns of the Tea Party of which he is a member.

"I'm a big fan," says Bentivolio. "I don't like the way the direction our country is headed."

Taj, 66, is a physician who runs his own practice in Dearborn.

He says protecting Social Security would be one of his top priorities.

"We cannot privatize Social Security," says Taj.

The seat became a toss-up when Thaddeus McCotter abruptly resigned earlier this year following a nominating petition signature scandal.

Bentivolio, a Vietnam veteran, says his priorities are accountability and transparency, controlling spending, and changing health care.

"I want to repeal Obamacare," says Bentivolio. "That's putting 15 bureaucrats between you and your doctor, it doesn't make sense to me."

Taj, who is a trustee for Canton Township, says he supports universal health care.

"I feel that fundamentally every human being has a right of having a quality, affordable health care."

Also on the ballot in November is a special election to fulfill the remaining six weeks of McCotter's term. That race pits Bentivolio against David Curson, a Democrat from Van Buren Township.

The 11th District covers a wide area that includes parts of Wayne and Oakland counties.

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