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Mr. McCotter penned an op-ed about his situation in the Detroit News, comparing his problems to those of film character George Bailey in the 1946 Frank Capra Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” He described a write-in effort as a “difficult hill to climb,” but one he planned to ascend “to the utmost of my ability.”

“I feel like George Bailey after Uncle Billy admitted he lost the money. Like George Bailey, knowing my misplaced trust has negatively impacted so many people is heartrending. Unlike George Bailey, I am not tempted to jump off a bridge,” Mr. McCotter wrote. “Instead, I remember my late father’s rule: ‘You clean up your own mess.’ “

He added: “I may not have a guardian angel Clarence to help me, but I have something better — the opportunity in our free society to make my appeal to the sovereign citizens of our district for their support as the best candidate to help restructure government for the 21st century; grow our economy; defend our security; and, crucially, elect Mitt Romney our next president.”