Just because Michigan's 11th District special primary election is over doesn't mean local officials have grown any more agreeable about the footing the bill. The election to fill the spot left vacant after Republican Rep. Thad McCotter's resignation fulfilled a state law that the seat must be occupied -- if only for the six weeks that will remain in the term after the general election. But that brief period of representation comes at a heavy cost. Estimates place the price tag for the special election at $650,000, and local government leaders continue to insist the state pick up the tab.
Voter turnout, predictably, was extremely low -- just 7 percent -- and the cost per vote cast was nearly $18. Victories by Republican Kerry Bentivolio -- the GOP's full-term nominee as well -- and Democrat David Curson mean voters will have choices on the general election ballot for a term that runs Nov. 9 to Dec. 31. But due to redistricting, some of those voters won't even be part of the 11th District when the new term begins Jan. 3.
If Bentivolio wins both elections, he will have the advantage of seniority over his fellow incoming freshmen, but that potential benefit isn't likely to appease local officials who now have to find thousands of dollars in their budgets to cover the cost of the special election.