Thaddeus McCotter’s resignation from Congress will cost taxpayers about $650,000 in special election costs, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley said Tuesday in announcing the “unfortunate” conclusion the state must hold an election to fill the rest of his term. With six months left in his decade in Congress, McCotter’s abrupt exit last Friday followed a petition signature fraud investigation and revelation Thursday in The News that he had pitched a tawdry TV pilot written after his failed presidential bid. Absentee ballots for the Aug. 7 primary election have gone out, forcing the state to call a Sept. 5 special primary and Nov. 6 general election for the remainder of the Livonia Republican’s term. “We find it unfortunate that the resignation came so late that it’s not possible to hold the special primary election on the same day as our normal primary,” Calley said Tuesday, acting on behalf of Gov. Rick Snyder, who is out of the state. The state will not reimburse municipalities in Wayne and Oakland counties for the election, nor will McCotter be expected to pitch in, Calley said.
The burden is particularly perplexing for local communities that will no longer be in the 11th Congressional District after this year. Redford Township, for example, would hold the Sept. 5 special election. But its Aug. 7 and Nov. 6 elections are for a choosing a representative in the redrawn 13th District, which includes Redford Township under the once-a-decade redistricting process.
The cost for the special election would be about $30,000 for just a few weeks of representation, Redford Township Clerk Garth Christie said. “That’s a foolhardy way to spend our money,” Christie said after learning of the new election he must pull off. “We are not getting value for our tax dollar.”