Governor required to call special election to fill 11th Congressional District vacancy

U.S. Representative Thad McCotter resigned last week

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In accordance with state law and the U.S. Constitution, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has called a special election in the 11th

Congressional District to fill the vacancy created by last week's sudden resignation of U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter.


The lieutenant governor's strong preference is to save local tax dollars and spare election officials a significant burden by conducting the special primary election in conjunction with the regularly scheduled Aug. 7th primary. However, the timing of McCotter's resignation makes that impossible. Primary ballots already were printed and absentee ballots were mailed when McCotter made his announcement. In addition, ballots must be sent to Michigan voters who are overseas or serving in the military at least 45 days before an election, which means the special primary election must be held on a different date than Aug. 7.


"It is extremely disappointing that the district is forced to have a special election that is neither cost-effective nor efficient," Calley said. "Taxpayers deserve better. But the requirement for the governor to call a special election in this situation is clear and we must do so in a way that establishes fair, realistic deadlines for candidates and election officials. We will move forward so that district residents have full representation in Congress for the remainder of the term. I have every confidence that the outstanding election officials throughout the district will get the job done in spite of this challenging timeline."

Read more: Thaddeus McCotter doesn't have enough signatures to make ballot 

The special primary will be Wednesday, Sept. 5. That still allows for the special general election to fill the vacancy to be held in conjunction with the regularly scheduled Nov. 6 general election.                                    

State election officials estimate the cost of the special election to total $650,000 for the impacted local and county governments.


McCotter released the following statement following Friday's resignation:

"Today I have resigned from the office of United States Representative for Michigan's 11th Congressional District.

After nearly 26 years in elected office, this past nightmarish month and a half have, for the first time, severed the necessary harmony between the needs of my constituency and of my family. As this harmony is required to serve, its absence requires I leave.

The recent event's totality of calumnies, indignities and deceits have weighed most heavily upon my family. Thus, acutely aware one cannot rebuild their hearth of home amongst the ruins of their U.S. House office, for the sake of my loved ones I must "strike another match, go start anew" by embracing the promotion back from public servant to sovereign citizen.

I do not leave for an existing job and face diminishing prospects (and am both unwilling and ill-suited to lobby), my priorities are twofold: find gainful employment to help provide for my family; and continue to assist, in any way they see fit, the Michigan Attorney General's earnest and thorough investigation, which I requested, into the 2012 petition filing.

While our family takes this step into the rest of our lives, we do so with the ultimate confidence in our country's future. True, as at other times in the life of our nation, we live in an Age of Extremes that prizes intensity over sanity; rhetoric over reality; and destruction over creation. But this too shall pass, thanks to the infinite, inspired wisdom of the sovereign people who, with God's continued blessings, will again affirm for the generations American Exceptionalism.

Truly, it is a challenging and fortunate time to live in our blessed sanctuary of liberty.

In closing, to The People of Michigan's 11th Congressional District, I can but say this: Thank you for the privilege of having worked for you."

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