LANSING — Governor Whitmer announced Monday that she has sent a letter to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson calling for a special election to fill a vacant seat in the Michigan House of Representatives.
The vacancy is caused by the election of Representative Abdullah Hammoud, who previously represented the 15th House District, as mayor of Dearborn.
“In 2022, we are going to keep our foot on the gas to continue getting things done that put Michiganders first and it’s important that everyone has a seat at the table,” Whitmer said. “This special election will ensure that Michiganders have a democratically elected representative working for their best interests in our state’s capital.”
The governor called for a special primary election to fill the vacancy on March 1 and a general election on May 3. The winner will finish out Hammoud’s term through the end of the year.
The area that the 15th House District covered is now slated to fall under entirely new district maps, finalized by the bipartisan Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC). The Commission finalized maps that were supposed to become law on Dec. 31, but their decisions now faces a legal challenge, with more challenges expected in the future.
How judges decide on those challenges could mean a further redrawing of maps. Either way, the Commission’s district maps should take effect prior to the primary and general elections and will be the state’s political geography for a decade.
The previous 15th House District covered all of Dearborn except for three eastern precincts. Comparatively, the Commission’s Third District comes closest to that previous seat. New neighboring districts that cover Arab American enclaves in that area have the potential to see multiple candidates from the local community running for House seats.
“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.”
Before voters approved the creation of the Commission in 2018, Congressional and State House and State maps were drawn by political parties.
The Commission’s final maps can be seen on the MICRC website.
For information about elections in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/elections.