LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will call a special election to fill out John Conyers’ term in the U.S. House after the lawmaker retired amid sexual harassment allegations by former female staffers.
Spokeswoman Anna Heaton said Tuesday that Snyder’s office will look at a timetable for that process once it receives a letter of resignation that officially creates the vacancy.
She says the Republican governor has wide discretion as to the timing of the special election.
The 88-year-old Conyers, a Democrat, also submitted his decision to retire in a one-sentence letter Tuesday to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
The letter simply said, “I have made the decision to retire from my position as the Member of the United States House of Representatives from Michigan’s 13th Congressional District effective today.”
In a statement read on the floor of the U-S House, Conyers said he’s not being afforded “due process” to defend himself against sexual harassment allegations made by former staff members. He’s also citing his “current health conditions” as a factor in his decision to step down.
Pelosi and Ryan had bpth called for Conyers to resign.
Conyers on Tuesday endorsed his son, John Conyers III, for the seat. Michigan state Sen. Ian Conyers, a grandson of John Conyers’ brother, also says he plans to run.
Other possible candidates include state Senator David Knezek, former state rep Rashida Tlaib, current Detroit City Council president Brenda Jones and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napolean.
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