Whitmer sets Aug. 4 special election to fill deceased lawmaker's seat

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

A special primary election will be held Aug. 4 to fill the seat of former state Rep. Isaac Robinson, the Detroit Democrat who died of suspected coronavirus on March 29. 

Candidates must file by April 21 to qualify for the Aug. 4 primary. Winning candidates will advance to the Nov. 3 general election. 

The person elected Nov. 4 to fill Robinson's seat would serve the rest of his term through the end of this year. 

State Reps. Isaac Robinson and Cynthia A. Johnson, D-Detroit, protest with community members in Detroit over the expansion of a treatment center in Hamtramck on Dec. 27, 2019.

The Detroit Democrat had “a huge heart, a quick wit, and a genuine passion for the people,” Whitmer said in a Friday statement announcing the special election. 

“He dedicated his career to ensuring justice and security for those he served, and the impact he had on his community will continue to be felt for years to come,” Whitmer said. “The 4th House District deserves a fierce advocate to serve in the legislature on their behalf, and voters will have an opportunity to make their voices heard at the ballot box in the August 4th primary and the November 3rd general election."    

Two other Detroit Democratic lawmakers have tested positive for the virus: Rep. Karen Whitsett and Rep. Tyrone Carter. Both said they have recovered, with Whitsett attributing her recovery to the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine. 

Detroit is one of the hardest hit cities in terms of coronavirus cases and deaths. Roughly 80% of the state's cases are concentrated in the Metro Detroit counties of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne, but Thursday's case increase marked the smallest since March 30.

Statewide, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Michigan hit 22,783 as of Thursday afternoon and the number of deaths rose to 1,281.