Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the dates of a special election for the 34th District for the State House of Representatives on Tuesday. The election aims to fill the spot left vacant by former state Rep. Sheldon Neeley (D-34-Flint), who resigned after being elected mayor of the city of Flint.
The state will hold a special primary election on January 7, 2020. The general election will be held on March 10, 2020.
Neeley resigned during his third term as representative and previously served on the Health Policy, Commerce and Trade, Tax Policy, Local Government, and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees. He announced his resignation on November 8 and was sworn in as mayor on Monday.
District 34 includes most of Flint.
“When I came to Lansing, my city was in the middle of one of the worst public health and confidence crises our state has ever faced. Abandoned by our state’s leaders, we had no other choice but to find the strength within ourselves to move Flint forward again,” Neeley said in a statement. “During my time in the Legislature, I have worked to rebuild my city and repair our resident’s shaken trust. Despite serving through a time of despair for our community, I’m honored to have been a voice for the people of Flint at the Capitol and am humbled to continue my service in this new capacity.”
Whitmer said that holding a general election for the spot on the day of a regularly scheduled election reduces costs of the special election.
“It is important that residents in the 34th House District have a representative in the legislature advocating on their behalf, while also providing voters with enough time to research and learn about the candidates who may decide to run for office,” Whitmer said in a statement.
Candidates who wish to be placed on the January 7 primary ballot must file by November 19.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]