The brother of Republican Michigan congressional candidate Kerry Bentivolio described his brother as “mentally unbalanced” and said he believed that Bentivolio would end up “in prison” if he was elected to office.
The comments were originally reported by Michigan Information and Research Service (MIRS), which is behind a pay wall, and were subsequently reported by National Journal Hotline.
“I’ve never met anyone in my life who is conniving and dishonest as this guy. He’s my brother so it’s hard to talk about this, but I believe that if he gets elected, he’ll eventually serve time in prison,” Bentivolio’s brother, Phillip Bentivolio, told MIRS.
Kerry Bentivolio’s fitness for office has been questioned before. In a 1996 court case, Bentivolio, who works part time as a Santa Clause impersonator, testified: “I’d like to say I’m really Santa Claus and I play somebody else the rest of the year.”
The Chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party pointed to that incident and others as “unstable behavior” and questioned whether he was “fit to serve” in congress.
The accusations go both ways, however.
Kerry Bentivolio described his brother as “mentally ill,” and according to MIRS, asked the FBI to investigate him after Philip said he would go to the press if Kerry did not pay him back $20,000 owed from a failed housing deal twenty years ago.
Philip Bentivolio said he had never heard from the FBI and questioned his brother’s sanity.
Bentivolio is running for congress in Michigan’s 11th District against Democrat Syad Taj.
“Phillip has been suffering from emotional and mental illness for many years and we pray that he recovers,” said Kerry Bentivolio’s campaign manager Bob Dindoffer. “These press statements come after demands for money and therefore should be taken with more than a grain of salt.”