Whitmer calls for May special elections to fill 3 Michigan House seats

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is calling for May 3 special elections to fill three vacant state House seats, her office announced Tuesday morning.

The Democratic governor is planning for a special primary election to take place on March 1 and then the general election to be held on May 3. The races will fill two vacant seats previously held by Republican state Reps. Doug Wozniak of Shelby Township and Mark Huizenga of Walker, who were elected to the Senate in November, and one previously held by Republican Rep. Andrea Schroeder of Independence Township, who passed away on Oct. 1.

"As a state, it is critical that we take the appropriate steps to ensure that all Michiganders are fairly, justly, and equitably represented at all levels of government," Whitmer said. "By calling a special election, we can ensure that those vacant seats are filled and that the constituents of 36th, 43rd and 74th districts have a democratically elected representative working for their best interests in Lansing."

The governor called for the special elections in a letter sent to Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

"The Department of State stands ready to work with local and county election officials to implement the special elections this spring," Benson said. "Filling these partial terms before districts change will assist election officials in an orderly redistricting process and 2022 election cycle."

In November, Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, asked Whitmer to set special elections as soon as possible for four state House seats. The fourth seat is currently held by Democratic state Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, who was elected Dearborn's mayor in November.

Hammoud hasn't yet resigned his position in the House to take the mayoral job. Once that happens, Whitmer anticipates issuing a separate call for a special election with this same timeline as the three others to fill the vacancy, her office said.


Staff Writer Beth LeBlanc contributed.