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After U.S. Rep. John Conyers retired in December 2017, many residents of the 13th Congressional District were dismayed to find out that Gov. Rick Snyder wouldn’t hold an election for the open seat until November 2018.

Although many would-be politicians have thrown their hat in the ring, including Conyers’s son and great nephew, many residents believe that the gap between the vacancy and election is too long and has created a dearth of representation for the 13th District.

In response to this, Attorney Michael Gilmore will hold a Town Hall to update residents of the 13th Congressional District of Michigan on legal action he is pursuing to force Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to move up the special election to fill the seat of retired U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Jr. The Town Hall will be held at Eleos Coffee in Detroit on February 10 at 10 a.m. “Taxation without representation is unconstitutional and illegal and District 13 voters demand an early special election to fill this seat immediately,” he said.

Kimberly Shorter-Siebert, who lives in the 13th District said, I do have a concern about not being represented for a long period of time but I read that the delay was due to the cost of the election. I’m not clear on the actual cost of the election or who would pay for the election if Governor Snyder was to hold it right away,” she said.

According to the Governor’s office, “the cost of running a standalone election in this district is roughly $1 million for the primary and $1 million for the general, the cost of which is borne by local governments (cities/townships). By aligning with existing election dates, those additional costs will not be incurred. “

State law gives the Governor the authority to call a special election where there are vacancies created. In a statement, Governor Snyder said, “Having ample time for candidates to make a decision about running for office and file their paperwork gives people more options as to who will next represent them in Congress,” Gov. Snyder said. “In order to allow several months for that to take place and to reduce the financial burden on local taxpayers, the primary and general elections will be held when regularly scheduled elections are already occurring.”

Gilmore however isn’t satisfied and said that, “Gov. Snyder continues to treat residents of urban areas across the state as second-class citizens. By holding this congressional seat vacant for 11 months, he is denying minority residents of the 13th Congressional District the right to vote and the right to be represented in Congress,” he said.

Anna Heaton, Press Secretary for Snyder further explained that if the Governor doesn’t call a special election, the default would be to hold the election on the normal election dates for the following term. In the instance {of Conyers vacant seat}, residents will vote twice in August and twice in November – for the remainder of the Conyers term and for the new term. August is the primary to narrow the field and in November voters will select who will represent them in Congress beginning January 1, 2019.

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