LANSING (WWJ/AP) – A spokesperson for Governor Rick Snyder says the state will not help offset the cost of Wednesday’s special primary election held to fill former Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter’s seat in Washington.
“This was absolutely something that the governor hoped to avoid and that was the special election that was needed. That said, the constitution and the state election law are pretty clear and it compelled the governor to act,” said Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel. “And currently there is nothing that allows reimbursement to Oakland County or any local government for that matter.”
Wurfel said the state constitution could be changed to avoid future issues — but for now, she said the governor’s hands were tied.
“Certainly we wanna have constituents like, for in this case, the 11th Congressional district, to have representation, because that’s absolutely critical,” Wurfel said. “At the same time, given the timing and the expense of all this , is there something that we can do to amend the situation so that our hands aren’t so tied like in this case.”
Oakland County Clerk Bill Bullard had sought to be reimbursed $200,000 for holding the election — won by Republican Kerry Bentivolio — who now faces Democrat David Curson this fall for the 11th District seat.
The election cost the state an estimated $650,000.
McCotter abruptly resigned July 6 during an investigation of irregularities in the nominating petitions that kept the Livonia Republican from seeking re-election.
The conservative-leaning district appeared to be McCotter’s to lose until election officials found that he had submitted nominating petitions with too few valid signatures to make it onto the Aug. 7 primary ballot.
Four former McCotter aides are facing state charges on accusations they participated in a scheme to submit false signatures, many of which had been forged or copied from other petitions.
Turnout was extremely light for Wednesday’s primary, with one precinct, in Redford Township, reporting only five people had voted by 12 p.m.
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