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Special Election to Replace McCotter Until January 2013 Expected to Cost $650,000

The special election to replace Rep. Thaddeus McCotter cannot, because of timing, be held with the August primaries and will be pushed into September.

Following the (R-Livonia) last week, Gov. Rick Snyder has announced plans for a special primary and special election.

According to Michigan law, the governor must hold a special election to fill the vacated seat. A special election, according to Michigan law, requires a special primary. It will be held in September, the governor announced today.

During the November election, 11th Congressional District voters will be able to cast a ballot to pick the interim candidate who will fill McCotter's seat until it expires in January 2013. They will also pick the winner of the general election who will take over the next full term.

State election officials estimate the cost of the special election to total $650,000 for the impacted local and county governments, according to a press release.

McCotter's district includes Northville, Plymouth, Canton, Novi and White Lake.

"The lieutenant governor's strong preference is to save local tax dollars and spare election officials a significant burden by conducting the special primary election in conjunction with the regularly scheduled Aug. 7 primary," said a press release from the governor's office. "However, the timing of McCotter's resignation makes that impossible. Primary ballots already were printed and absentee ballots were mailed when McCotter made his announcement. In addition, ballots must be sent to Michigan voters who are overseas or serving in the military at least 45 days before an election, which means the special primary election must be held on a different date than Aug. 7."

In the press release Lt. Gov. Brian Calley added, "It is extremely disappointing that the district is forced to have a special election that is neither cost-effective nor efficient. . .Taxpayers deserve better. But the requirement for the governor to call a special election in this situation is clear and we must do so in a way that establishes fair, realistic deadlines for candidates and election officials. We will move forward so that district residents have full representation in Congress for the remainder of the term. I have every confidence that the outstanding election officials throughout the district will get the job done in spite of this challenging timeline."

According to the press release: By issuing the call for a special election today, the governor's action allows candidates adequate time to collect the required 1,000 petition signatures for ballot access by Friday, July 20. This in turn allows local officials to print special ballots to send to military and overseas voters 45 days before the Sept. 5 special election.

Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Bill Bullard Jr. called the resignation and special election a burden and "not fair to the taxpayer.”

“The costs of this special election should not be dumped on the local governments and taxpayers of Oakland County.  At a time when communities are making tough choices, they should not have to be in a position of considering laying off a firefighter or police officer due to the costs of holding an election to fill a seat in Congress for a matter of weeks," he said. “The complications involved in holding an election in the existing 11th district at the same time as the new district will be immense. In the past elections held with only federal questions questions have been reimbursed by the state government. I believe the state or federal government should be responsible for the cost of this special election.”

Last month, McCotter announced plans to mount a after his campaign failed to turn in the requisite 1,000 petitions needed to get on the GOP primary ballot. A subsequent review by the Michigan secretary of state's office found that only 200 to 300 of the 2,000 total ballots submitted by the five-term congressman's campaign were valid. A short time later, he said he would .

McCotter also organized a short-lived last year, but ended the bid after failing to gain momentum in early primary states.

Herb Helzer July 18, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Except that the special primary is on 5 September, a full month after the 7 August primary. Nancy Cassis still has to win as a write-in if she hopes to be Matty Moroun's voice in Congress in 2013. In the meantime, trying to collect signatures for the special takes time away from her uphill fight to beat Kerry Bentivolio as a write-in. It is interesting that "Bobby" Schostak tipped his hand as to who the Republicans REALLY want for the 11th District: Foreclosure enforcer David Trott. Count on Trott being the GOP's choice in 2014, even if Bentivolio wins this year. It's even possible that Thaddeus McCotter saw that his time in Congress would end as soon as Trott made it official, which helped him rationalize bailing out now, before he could be humiliated in the 2014 primary. Not that what actually happened was any less humiliating to Thad.
Herb Helzer July 18, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Diane, you seem to have a finger on the pulse of the Bentivolio effort. So I hope maybe you can clear up some questions for me. Assuming Bentivolio and Dr. Syed Taj win their respective primaries in August, either way the new 11th District will be represented by a man who is emphatically NOT a "career politician." Difference is, Dr. Taj has earned the endorsement of local and state Democrats, whereas Mr. Bentivolio is so disliked and mistrusted by GOP leaders that they went through the absurdity of backing Sen. Cassis against him. What does that in-party opposition say about how Bentivolio would serve us in Congress? Will he be focused on our economy, or on further restricting choice rights for women? Does he care more about what REALLY happened on 9/11 and Presidece to truly impact policy and pending laws?
Diane July 19, 2012 at 12:21 AM
In response to Herb: Having the 'party' support a candidate does not give me confidence, especially when the R party has been infested with RINO's and a 'go along to get along' mentality - for example placing Nancy Cassis in contention because the party elites are not in control of Bentivolio. Having read about Bentivolio's position on the issues, meeting with him and hearing him speak, I am more than willing to give him a chance. I already know Nancy from her time as my Rep & Sen, which is why I don't want to put her in office again. I'm also not impressed with the D party endorsing Dr. Taj - that just means he is willing to push the liberal/progressive agenda for his party bosses. Let's face facts - the R party is almost as much to blame as the D's for putting this country in the mess it is in. The definition of stupid is doing the same thing over and expecting different results. As far as Bentivolio being disliked by the party bosses - is that a bad thing? I thought our Congressman was elected to represent his constituents - not the party bosses. I don't know about you, but I don't particularly like the party bosses!
Peggy Miller July 19, 2012 at 09:35 PM
AMEN, Diane!!!
Laura Vogel July 26, 2012 at 04:38 PM
I was at a candidate forum the other week at Baker's in Milford, and I was quite impressed by Mr. Bentivolio's command of the issues and his passion to serve the public.

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