By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has issued a written statement announcing that he has called a Special Election to fill the vacancy in Senate District 35. District 35 became vacant when Senator Ben Brooks (R) resigned on Tuesday following his November 6th election to be a Mobile County Judge.
Judge Brooks’ resignation from his Senate seat means that Governor Bentley was able to announce the timeline for a special election to fill the now vacant District 35 seat in the Alabama Senate.
Gov. Bentley said, “This election timeline was designed to have a senator in place for District 35 as soon as possible. The timeline gives candidates time to qualify, it allows voters time to learn about candidates, and it allows time for those who are unable to vote in-person to arrange to vote by absentee ballot.”
The Special Primary Election for District 35 will be held on Tuesday, January 29, 2013. In the very unlikely event that no one contests either the Republican or Democratic primaries, the Special General Election will be held on Tuesday, January 29, 2013.
If a runoff is needed to settle on the major party’s candidate the Special Primary Runoff Election will be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. If no runoff is necessary then the Special General Election will be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. If primaries and a primary runoff are both necessary then the Special General Election will not be held until Tuesday, April 23, 2013.
If you are considering running for the seat in the primary, you must make your decision very very quickly because the deadline to qualify to run as either a Republican or a Democrat is next Wednesday, December 12th at 5:00 pm. Both political parties must certify their qualified candidates at the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office by 5:00 pm on Thursday, December 13, 2012.
If you are considering a third party or independent run then you must collect signatures of registered voters who live in the district. All of those petitions and all of the accompanying paperwork must be submitted to the Secretary of State’s office by no later than 5:00 on Thursday, December 13th. District 35 covers much of Mobile County.
Senator Brooks has been criticized by many in both the District and the Senate leadership for his delay in resigning his District 35 Senate seat even though it has been weeks since his election to his judgeship and months since the Republican Primary. Critics claim that the delay means that it could be months into the 2013 Alabama legislative session before District 35 even has a Senator.
Brooks will assume the judge’s position in January.