Detroit City Council president elected to Conyers seat in special election faces tough choice

What will the president of the Detroit City Council do? On primary night, she was elected in a special election to fill Congressman John Conyers' old seat in the U.S. House through the end of the year. But state law may prevent her from holding both jobs at once - even if it is for two months.

While Jones won the special election, she lost the election for a full two-year term to former state rep, Rashida Tlaib.

Michigan law says that, a public officer shall not hold more than two incompatible offices at the same time. That means Jones likely could not hold both offices. Does she even have to take that job that she was elected for?

"I think she does but if she doesn't that's really doing a disservice to the people that voted for her," political analyst Steve Hood said.

Whether Michigan state law applies to Congress, and the definition of incompatible, are open to interpretation. 

Hood says Jones' team is to blame for her failing to win both the special election and the race.

"Her team definitely dropped the ball if Rashida Tlalb beat her, yes," he said.    

In unofficial results, Tlaib had about 31% of the vote, to Jones who had 30% in the primary, which is in a heavily Democratic district.  But to fill the Conyers seat, Jones got roughly 38% The vote to Tlaib's 36%.  

"I'm not against Rashida Tlaib that seat should be African-American controlled. Now, we risk losing a very strong fighter on city council - our council president," Hood said.

Jones wouldn't give an official response to her plan but said in a text that she is still reviewing the results.

You can see how close the votes were in the embedded updates below. Jones won the special election by 1,700 votes while Tlaib won the primary by less than 1,000. There was not a GOP primary for the district and she's expected to win the seat outright in November.