Gov. Rick Snyder said late Friday he does not yet have on answer on whether to schedule a special election so someone can serve out the term of U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter, who resigned abruptly. Spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said Snyder received the Livonia Republican’s resignation letter in the afternoon. “The governor thanks the congressman for his years of service to our state and country,” she said. “We won’t have a definitive answer on next steps until we have the opportunity to more closely review Michigan’s election law and consult with the state’s election experts.” The U.S. Constitution says the governor shall hold elections to fill vacancies in the House. But with the Aug. 7 primary less than five weeks away, it may be too late to hold a coinciding special election then – when the only Republican on the ballot, Kerry Bentivolio, faces a write-in challenge from former state Sen. Nancy Cassis. Perhaps the election could be held during the November general election, though whoever wins would only serve about two months.
State law says the governor “shall” call a special election to fill vacant U.S. House districts, and it appears to allow him to schedule it at the next general election. It was not immediately clear if candidates could be chosen by someone or go through the normal petition-gathering process. For now, hundreds of thousands of residents of the 11th Congressional District in Wayne and Oakland counties will have no voting representation in the House.