Special elections for Flint-based House seat set for early 2020

    Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday announced the dates for a special election in the 34th state House District, left vacant by state Rep. Sheldon Neeley (D-Flint). Neeley has resigned after being elected on Nov. 5 as Flint’s mayor.

    Gretchen Whitmer | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

    A special primary election to fill the vacancy will be held on Jan. 7, 2020. The general election will be held on March 10, 2020.

    “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,” said Whitmer.

    Candidates wishing to be placed on the Jan. 7 primary ballot must file by Nov. 19, Whitmer’s office said.

    Under GOP former Gov. Rick Snyder, seats were sometimes left open for almost a year, as in the case of the 13th Congressional District vacated by U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) in December 2017. The special primary was held in August 2018 and the special general election took place in November 2018.

    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.