Special primary to fill McCotter’s seat affects Heights

Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — A special primary election is scheduled for Sept. 5 after former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (D-11th District) resigned July 6 — a move that could cost Dearborn Heights about $10,000 in election costs.

According to a published report the special election will cost Wayne and Oakland county and 11th Congressional District voters about $650,000.

McCotter asked to be removed from the Aug. 6 Republican primary ballot after he found out about a number of invalid nominating petition signatures, according to a published report.

House Administration Committee’s spokesperson Salley Wood confirmed that four of McCotter’s staff members resigned from congressional office. Wood said she could not discuss their current whereabouts.

On Sept. 5, voters may cast their votes during the special primary and pick who will advance to the general election on Nov. 6 to decide who will serve out McCotter’s term which expires Dec. 31.

The primary race consists of Republicans former state Sen. Nancy Cassis of Novi; Kerry Bentivolio of Milford; Carolyn Cavanagh, Steve King and Kenneth Cride all of Livonia. The winner will advance to the Nov. 6 general election to take on David Curson of Belleville who is unopposed on the Democratic ticket.

On Nov. 6, current Heights 11th District voters also will vote for U.S. representatives in the newly drawn 12th and 13th congressional districts. Two-year terms in those districts begin Jan. 1.

Dearborn Heights City Clerk Walter Prusiewicz said even though he expects the special election to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000, he will try to cut costs.

“We can use less poll workers,” Prusiewicz said. “We will make an effort to reduce funds.”

Prusiewicz said there are normally about four workers at each poll; this election he will have three.

Prusiewicz added that he can cut down on the behind-the-scenes workers by using three people instead of the typical six who work on absentee ballots.

The cost of mailing and the cost of programming memory cards into the computer is about $1,500, Prusiewicz said.

“I’m trying to keep the cost down because we have less precincts and workers and we are going to keep the labor rates down,” Prusiewicz said. “People don’t realize the expenses incurred in an election.”

A press release said McCotter will continue to serve the 11th District under the guidance of the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

McCotter will remain on the House payroll, according to the press release, and he will help handle business with the departments of the Executive Branch of the government and provide general status information on pending legislation, among other general constituent assignments given by House offices.

The 11th District covers part of north Dearborn Heights.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the special election.

(Sherri Kolade can be reached at skolade@bewickpublications.com.)