LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – In early November, two members of the Michigan legislature relinquished their positions as state representatives after winning their respective mayoral elections. 

Former state Representative Lori Stone, previously represented the 13th House District and former State Representative Kevin Coleman, used to represent the 25th House District. With the win for the two Democrats, the Michigan House adjourned for an undetermined length of time following the loss of the narrow majority over the Republican party. 

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Ahead of Thanksgiving, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson seeking to set a special primary election on Jan. 30, 2024 and a general election to be held on April 16, 2024. 

“The Michigan Legislature had one of the most productive sessions in Michigan history thanks to Michiganders who elected leaders, like state representatives Coleman and Stone, to get things done on the issues that make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Governor Whitmer. “As we look ahead to 2024, these special elections will ensure that Michiganders in the 13th and 25th districts have representation in Lansing working for them as soon as possible. I look forward to working with the next representatives from these districts when voters elect them in the new year.”  

State Representative Ann Bollin (R-Brighton Township) responded to the scheduled special elections criticizing the move. 

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“Gov. Whitmer’s decision to call for separate special elections on Jan. 30 and April 16 to fill vacant House seats is highly questionable and fails to prioritize the interests of taxpayers and voters,” she said. “The accelerated and unnecessary time frame will needlessly burden candidates, clerks, and voters.” 

Rep. Bollin also called into question the time frame of the decision offering some possible motives including democracy, accessibility, and restoring voter confidence. 

“NOPE – just more politics and confusion that disenfranchises voters and places added stress on local clerks and poll workers,” she said. “By choosing dates outside of the already scheduled February and May elections, the governor needlessly burdens taxpayers with increased costs for separate elections and causes unnecessary confusion for voters.” 

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She also questioned the decision about scheduling elections differently based on what districts are involved, and historical precedent. 

“When three Republican House seats were vacant in late 2021, the governor scheduled those special elections for March and May of 2022,” she added, “Why the sudden rush to fill the latest vacancies?” 

A copy of the full letter to Secretary Benson can be found here