Reporting Sandra McNeill
SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – It’s the busiest time of the year for a newly elected U.S. Congressman.
As WWJ’s Sandra McNeill reports, Kerry Bentivolio is spending his final Christmas as a reindeer rancher in Milford before he moves to Washington.
As for the song that includes ‘up on the roof-top click, click, click’ … Bentivolio said reindeer can hear the clicking sound of their tendons … it allows them to know that other reindeer are near.
“They are herding animals,” said Bentivolio.
His reindeer flew in from Alaska and said they are house-broken, “if you bring them in the house, it’s guaranteed to get broken.”
His six reindeer are hired out for parades and other events, they weigh in at between 300-600 pounds each and Bentivolio said, they are friendly, love children and a scratch behind the ears. they’ll go through about 30 bags of reindeer chow a month.
Bentivolio has been maligned over his Santa business but said he doesn’t pay attention, it’s all about the joy his reindeer bring to people.
Although he no longer dresses up like St. Nick. “…(it’s about) the spirit of giving, a time for lights … absolutely wonderful.”
“They are trained to go on an elevator, they’ll even take an escalator,” he said. “They are trained to pull Santa’s sleigh. They love kids.”
Bentivolio won the seat left vacant by former Thaddeus McCotter after McCotter left office in the wake of an investigation of McCotter and his campaign workers by the state Attorney General for possible fraud after the Secretary of State determined he submitted duplicate signatures to have his name put on the August Primary ballot.
Tea party favorite Bentivolio won the Republican primary in Michigan for the U.S. House against Democratic nomination Syed Taj in November.
The 11th District includes Westland and Livonia in Wayne County, a piece of Southfield in Oakland County, Highland and White Lake Townships.