Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 21, 2014

Michigan: Count Cassis in for Special Election

Former state Sen. Nancy Cassis (R) will run in the special election for former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s (R-Mich.) seat, her campaign confirmed Wednesday.

Cassis joins reindeer rancher Kerry Bentivolio (R) in the special primary on Sept. 5, the winner of which will run in the Nov. 6 special election to serve out the final few weeks of McCotter’s term.

The special primary marks the second time in a month the two Republicans will face each other for the west Detroit district. After McCotter dropped his re-election bid, Bentivolio was the only candidate left on the Aug. 7 Republican ballot.

Many local GOP officials are supporting Cassis as a write-in candidate for a full term on the GOP ballot instead.

“When Thad McCotter failed to make the ballot, I answered the call to be the conservative voice for the citizens of the 11th Congressional district by mounting a write-in campaign,” Cassis said in a statement. “Now that McCotter has resigned and the election has been called, I want to make sure the citizens of this district have the representation they deserve for the remainder of this term.”

But there’s another good reason both candidates are making the extra effort to run in the special election: Fundraising. Candidates can raise twice the federal donation limit if it’s technically for two simultaneous campaigns.

In related news, Cassis announced this week she’s brought in slightly more than $250,000 for her write-in bid. The vast majority of that sum, $200,000, is from her own wallet.

To make matters more complicated, the special election will select a Member from the current 11th district. The concurrent election for a full term will elect a Member from the revised 11th district, which Republican mapmakers redrew during the decennial redistricting last year.

The redrawn 11th district is a likely Republican seat. But with Republican nomination for a full term in flux, Democrats have a shot to pick it up.

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