Published November 07, 2012
Reindeer farmer Kerry Bentivolio may have won the race to succeed former Rep. Thad McCotter, R-Mich., in the House. But McCotter, a Quixotic GOP presidential candidate, abruptly resigned over the summer when he failed to qualify for the Michigan ballot after falsifications were found in his nominating petitions. There's now an inquiry by the Michigan Attorney Generals office.
But Bentivolio won't start his term until January.
However, the term of Democrat David Curson could start next week.
On the same day Bentivolio won a two-year seat in the 113th Congress which starts next year, Curson simultaneously won a special election to finish McCotter's term during the lame duck session.
The session starts next week. It's unclear when he will be sworn-in for the abbreviated period.
He will be a fully-fledged member, be able to serve on committees, hire staff and vote on the House floor.
This closely mirrors a scenario in 2006 when Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Texas, won the seat vacated by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas. But even as Lampson won the full term, Rep. Shelley Sekula Gibbs, R-Texas, won the special election and fulfilled the remaining two months of DeLay's term.
The current House breakdown is 240 Republicans and 190 Democrats with five vacancies. Curson's win will briefly increase the Democrats' ranks to 191.