McCotter Special Election Expected to Cost Northville $32,000
If multiple candidates from various parties decide to run, a special September primary election for former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's vacated seat will be held.
Northville Township expects to pay $25,000 and the city expects to pay $7,000 for a special election to replace resigned U.S. congressman Thaddeus McCotter.
Earlier this month, McCotter resigned, prompting the state to call a special election at the expense of local governments in the newly redrawn 11th Congressional District. The district includes Northville, Plymouth, Canton, Novi and White Lake. In total, the communities in the 11th congressional district will pay about $650,000.
The winner of the special election, stipulated by law, will serve from November to January, when the general election winner is sworn in.
"I think it's a senseless election," said township Clerk Sue Hillebrand. "I would say it will be a very low (voter) turnout."
Hillebrand said that Gov. Rick Snyder has indicated a special primary will not be necessary if each party can agree to one candidate who will run. So far, that has not been an easy sell to the candidates vying for McCotter's seat. Republicans Kerry Bentivolio and Nancy Cassis have both expressed interest in the temporary seat and have accused the other of playing politics.
In the meantime, municipal clerks are preparing for the special election. Hillebrand said the township is cutting costs where it can to limit the expense to taxpayers.
For example, the state minimum on election workers is three. Usually, the township exceeds that in general elections and spends about $15,000. For the special election, the township will spend about half of that. The city will spend about $7,000 total, said city clerk Dianne Massa, on what she anticipates will be a lower than usual primary turnout.
Hillebrand is not happy about having to ask her township trustee peers for a special allocation to cover an election she did not budget for.
"In all my years as a clerk, I've never had this happen," she said. "It's absolutely ridiculous. Something should be changed."
McCotter has been the source of much political attention lately. Prior to his resignation, McCotter announced that he would run as a write-in candidate after his campaign failed to turn in 1,000 petitions it needed to get on the GOP primary ballot. Only 200 to 300 of the 2,000 total ballots submitted by the five-term congressman's campaign were valid, the Secretary of State's Office announced. A short time later, McCotter said he would not seek re-election.