Michigan's 11th District Congressional Races: The Basic Facts

After Thaddeus McCotter decided to leave office early, voters are faced with a confusing voting season. Here's some basic info to help you sort it all out.

The timline, above, shows when the elections for the 11th Congressional District will be held and when the winners will take office.

This year's election for a congressional representative for Michigan's 11th District is quite confusing.

Not only will residents vote for a representative to start a new term in 2013, but they will also pick someone to serve the remaining few weeks of Thaddeus McCotter's 2012 term after he decided to leave office early. And they will vote for both on the same day.

On top of that, the state has been re-districted based on the 2010 Census, which means Farmington voters – who are in the new 11th Congressional District – will cast their ballots for the Aug. 7 primary and the Nov. 8th general election, but not in a September election to fill McCotter's empty seat. 

To sort it all out, we've put together this guide of the basic facts for the 11th Congressional District races.

The Backstory

What caused Michigan to have a special primary and a regular primary? Here are some of the basic facts:

  • At the end of May, Thaddeus McCotter announced that he mistakenly to run for re-election this November. 
  • McCotter then attempted to run a write-in campaign, but just a few days later.
  • On July 6, McCotter announced that he would , citing a "nightmarish month and a half."
  • Michigan is then required to call on voters to pick a new representative in a special election in addition to the regular election.
  • McCotter's seat will be left vacant for four months until the election in November.

The Special Election

Since McCotter did not announce his resignation in time to add the vote to fill the rest of his term to the August primary ballot, a special primary is scheduled for Sept. 5. The primary will narrow down the field of candidates to one Republican and one Democrat. Voters will pick the final winner in the Nov. 6 election.

The special primary is $650,000. Here are the basic facts about it:

  • Primary date: Sept. 5
  • Election date: Nov. 6
  • Voting District: Former 11th
  • Cities voting: Novi, Northville, Plymouth, Canton, White Lake, Livonia, Garden City, Westland, Wayne, Belleville, Milford, Highland, Commerce and more.
  • Republican candidates: Kerry Bentivolio, Nancy Cassis, Steve King, Kenneth Crider and Carolyn Cavanagh
  • Democratic candidate: David Curson
  • Winner will take office: In early November as soon as the Michigan Secretary of State certifies the results, which should take just a few days.
  • Length of term to be served: Two months until the end of December.

The Regular Election

In the regular election in November, residents will pick a candidate to fill a full two-year term in office. Here are the basic facts:

  • Primary date: Aug. 7
  • Election date: Nov. 6
  • Voting District: New 11th
  • Cities voting: Novi, Northville, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Clawson, Farmington, Rochester Hills, Troy, White Lake, Plymouth, Canton, Livonia, Wixom, Milford, Commerce, Waterford, Auburn Hills and more.
  • Republican candidates: Kerry Bentivolio. Nancy Cassis and Rev. Drexel Morton are also running as a write-in candidates.
  • Democratic candidates: Syed Taj and Bill Roberts
  • Winner will take office: In early January.
  • Length of term to be served: Two years until the end of 2014.

Still have questions? Ask them in the comments, and we'll get the answers for you!

Be sure to check back with Patch for profiles of the candidates and the latest election information.

Teresa Mask July 30, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Very helpful!! It's all becoming more clear. Thanks!
Nancy Hand July 30, 2012 at 03:16 PM
It seems the governor or someone(s) should be able to appoint someone to the position for the 2 month period. This is an incredible loss of money!!!
DCC July 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Actually, the $650,000 primary election is another primary paid for by the citizens of Michigan to determine which Republican will be on the ballot in November. Remember the GOP insisting upon running a primary and putting the cost on all of us instead of a caucus that would have been the financial responsibility of the GOP? They are doing it again. FIVE candidates for a two month term: ridiculous. The GOP ought to pay for this "special" election - it is their own folly we are having to clean up with taxpayer dollars.


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