Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Gov. Whitmer sets May dates for State House special elections

December 14, 2021
<p>Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at President Biden&#x27;s &quot;Build Back Better&quot; press event in Howell on Oct. 5, 2021. </p>

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at President Biden's "Build Back Better" press event in Howell on Oct. 5, 2021.

Photo by Chloe Trofatter | The State News

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has called for special elections to fill the Michigan State House’s three currently vacant seats.

The elections will all take place on May 3, 2022, with primary elections being held on March 1, 2022.

The special elections will replace seats previously held by Rep. Andrea Schroeder, R-Independence Township, who passed away in early October, and those held by Rep. Doug Wozniak, R-Shelby Township, and Rep. Mark Huizenga, R-Walker, who both resigned after being elected to the Michigan State Senate.

These seats represent the 43rd, 36th and 74th House Districts, respectively. According to Ballotpedia, each of these districts have elected Republican representatives over the last decade with margins of at least 13% of the vote, meaning that the races will likely result in safe Republican victories.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson also noted in the statement that these elections will take place before Michigan’s redistricting process goes into effect.

Whitmer said in the statement, “As a state, it is critical that we take the appropriate steps to ensure that all Michiganders are fairly, justly, and equitably represented at all levels of government.”

“By calling a special election, we can ensure that those vacant seats are filled and that the constituents of 36th, 43rd, and 74th districts have a democratically elected representative working for their best interests in Lansing,” she added.

Whitmer, who has the authority to choose special election dates for vacant seats in the legislature, received pressure from House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, to replace the vacancies currently only held by the Republican Party.

The vacancies made Republican’s already slim margin of control, originally 58 seats to Democrats’ 52 seats, even slimmer, decreasing to 55 seats. 

The statement also specifically states that Whitmer has not yet called for a special election to replace Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, D-Dearborn, who was elected Mayor of Dearborn in November and is expected to resign his House position in January. Whitmer said that the election for the 15th House District would be called at some point after Hammoud resigns.

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