Special election announced for 109th District seat

John Kivela

MARQUETTE — A special election will be held in the 109th District of state House of Representatives to fill the vacancy created by the recent death of state Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette.

A primary election will be held on Aug. 8, with the general election following on Nov. 7, Gov. Rick Snyder announced today.

The elected candidate will serve the remainder of Kivela’s current term, through the end of 2019.

“Although we are still mourning the loss of Rep. Kivela both in Lansing and in the Marquette community, it’s important that the residents of the 109th District have a timeline for when to expect new representation at the state Capitol,” Snyder said in a release today.

Candidates wishing to be on the Aug. 8 ballot must file the necessary paperwork by 4 p.m. on June 6. The 109th District serves Luce, Schoolcraft and Alger counties, as well as a portion of Marquette County.

Kivela, who was serving his third and final term in the Michigan House, was found dead in his Lansing home on May 9, following a years-long public battle with alcoholism.

His death occurred just hours after being released from the Clinton County Jail, where he was lodged on suspicious of drunken driving. It was his second alcohol-related arrest in less than two years, both while in office.

Kivela died of an apparent suicide.