The process of filling the seat left open by the retirement of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, could take some time to sort out and cost a good bit of money. By law, the governor is required to call a special election to select someone to fill out the remainder of the congressman’s term, which ends on Jan. 3, 2019. The governor can schedule that election whenever he wishes, though it often comes on the date of the next regularly scheduled election — which, at present, is May 7, 2018, when there will be balloting for local boards and millages.
But because it’s a House seat, that also means having a primary election first to decide who would run in a general election. That’s what happened in 2012, for instance, after former U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter, R-Livonia, stepped down in July.
Kerry Bentivolio of Milford won a September primary to be the Republican nominee to both fill out McCotter’s unexpired term and to take the seat in the next Congress. In the November general election, however, Democrat David Curson of Belleville won the race to serve out the remaining six weeks of McCotter’s term while Bentivolio won to replace McCotter in the next Congress.