Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 31, 2014

Michigan: Governor Calls Special Election for Thaddeus McCotter Seat

Updated 6:24 p.m. | There will be a special election to fill Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s (R-Mich.) seat for the final few weeks of his term.

The special primary is Sept. 5, a Wednesday, and the special general election is Nov. 6, Election Day, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley told reporters on Tuesday.

McCotter resigned from Congress last week after two tumultuous months. The five-term Congressman failed to make the primary ballot because of faulty signature petitions now under investigation. On Friday, he dropped out of Congress after the Detroit News reported that he helped pen an inappropriate mock television pilot.

The special election complicates an already unusual campaign to pick up McCotter’s seat for a full term. Local Republican officials declined to support the only GOP candidate on their ballot, reindeer rancher Kerry Bentivolio. Instead, they’re supporting former state Sen. Nancy Cassis (R) as a write-in candidate.

The late timing of the special election means it’s unlikely to have an effect on the Aug. 7 primary for a full term. The special primary is scheduled for the Wednesday after Labor Day, which means it will almost certainly be a low-turnout race.

Unfortunately, Calley said, McCotter’s resignation came too late to schedule the special primary on the same day as the primary for a full term.

“We find it unfortunate that the resignation came so late that it’s not possible to hold the special primary on the same day as our normal primary,” Calley said.

Originally, Michigan Republicans hoped they could avoid a special election. But after reviewing state election law for several days, Calley said, “we have come to the conclusion that it’s necessary” to have a special election.

He estimated the special election will cost local municipalities $650,000.

Updated 6:24 p.m.

Bentivolio will run in the special election, his campaign confirmed Tuesday. A request for comment from Cassis’ campaign was not returned.

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