There's two special elections. The first is the Special Primary in of all times September 5th. The Special General is on the November election. The special election applies to the OLD 11th District, not the new one. So Westland for example will be voting in November for a two month term in the house in the 11th, as well as for the new term in the new district. I rarely agree with Jack Lessenberry, but he said it best.
This election is happening because the governor’s office determined reluctantly that they had to do this. Under our Federal Constitution, if a U.S. Senator resigns from office, the governor gets to appoint a replacement. Not so with House members, however. Ten years ago, an Ohio representative was expelled from Congress later in July, and the governor declined to hold an expensive election to replace him. The federal courts swiftly ruled that Ohio’s governor had violated the law. So Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, in charge while the governor is on vacation, decided Michigan had no choice. That’s sensible, but the requirement is crazy, true, if the same person wins the special election and the general, they will have a slight advantage in seniority, though hardly enough to matter.I understand why Calley as Lt Governor called it. He wasn't happy about it, but he didn't want this in court. I think all the polls as well as the taxpayers would rather have this vacant, but it's not worth going to court over. I wish McCotter just stayed on till his term is up. I don't think in my 11 years of partisan political activity that I've ever seen anything remotely like the situation here in the 11th District. I feel bad for the non political staffers who had nothing to do with this, and are likely out of a job due to the work of some on the campaign staff. Here's a basic timeline for MI-11.
Present - Absentees are now out for the August Primary. Candidates are gathering signatures for the September Special Primary in the OLD 11th District.
August 7th - Normal August Primary. Kerry Bentivolio is on the ballot. Nancy Cassis is running as a write-in after McCotter was booted off the ballot for signature problems (to say the least). This is for the NEW 11th District.
September 5th - Special Primary. Candidates are gathering signatures for this primary. Both Bentivolio and Cassis are gathering signatures. I'm not sure the dems are trying for this. Those on the ballot will be the nominee for the special general election which covers the remaining portion of McCotter's term. This is in the OLD district.
November 6th - General AND Special General. There will be TWO elections for the 11th District in this seat. The Special General is in the OLD 11th and will be for the two months of lame duck in the old McCotter term. The Regular General will cover the NEW 11th and will be the winners of the August Primary.
It is possible that Nancy Cassis becomes a two month Congresswoman. In fact, that wouldn't be all that shocking. It's also possible that Bentivolio wins both. I hope that does happen, because it would make a smoother transition. It's also possible that Glenn Anderson if he so chooses, could run for the special 11th (He lives in the district), win it (the old 11th is much more dem), and then if he upsets John Conyers in the primary, becomes the congressman in the 13th district. Once again, MI-11 is showing itself to be a major 2012 Cluster(m)uck with a capital F.