Gov. Rick Snyder says local governments in the 11th Congressional District should not expect the state to help cover the costs of a special primary to replace Congressman Thad McCotter.
The cost is pegged at about $650,000. The state set the special primary for Sept. 5 – almost a month following the regular primary date of Aug. 7. That’s because McCotter resigned too late to have coordinated elections. Even though that replacement will serve no more than a few weeks, state officials say election laws, the U.S. Constitution and a court ruling left them no choice but to fill the seat.
Gov. Snyder says even though the state called the election, it does not have the money to help local governments with that cost.
“I have been put on a limit by my wife and by the Legislature in terms of how we use our dollars," he said. "We need to be prudent about these things. And that was just unfortunate in terms of having to spend those dollars period, but that was a consequence of the resignation and what the law requires.”
He says the timing is unfortunate, but the state budget is done and does not include money for special elections.
“It created a difficult environment. I think it could be difficult for the state to look at that as an issue because, again, that would be an appropriation," he said.
And that would require the approval of the Legislature, which is scheduled to meet just one day between now and the special primary. The governor says local governments should also not look to the state to reimburse them for their expenses.