A lifelong Michigander born in Detroit to public school teacher parents, McCotter enjoyed a solidly middle-class, heartland upbringing. A high school football star, he finished first in his class at the University of Detroit, then went on to earn a law degree. He was elected to the Michigan state Senate in 1998. In 2003, he became the representative for Michigan’s 11th district.
An eccentric Beatles-loving, joke-cracking guitar player who’s always surprising his colleagues (by quoting rock lyrics on the House floor, for example, or hanging a picture of John Lennon over his congressional office desk), McCotter plays lead guitar for the Second Amendments, a bipartisan rock band made up of House members that performs for US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.