By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY–Governor Robert Bentley has announced the dates of the special elections to fill the two House seats vacated by Representatives Jay Love (R-Montgomery) and Jim Barton (R-Mobile).
The special election primary is set for October 8. In the event a primary election is not necessary, the general election will be held October 8.
If a run-off primary is necessary, that election will be November 19 and the general election will be January 14. If the run-off is not required, the general election will be December 3.
Candidates for the Republican and Democratic parties must qualify with the party by August 19 at 5 p.m. The party must then certify the candidates with the Secretary of State’s office by August 20 at 5 p.m.
Any third-party, minor party or independent candidates who wish to qualify should file all appropriate paperwork with the Secretary of State by August 20 at 5 p.m.
Deadlines are being made especially clear after Democrats missed the deadline to qualify candidates because Nancy Worley, acting Chair of the Alabama Democratic Party, failed to meet the deadline to qualify candidates for the 1st district Congressional race.
The elections will be held to fill the district 74 seat, which was previously represented by Representative Jay Love. Love resigned August 1 to pursue education reform in the private sector.
The second election will fill the district 104 seat, which was previously held by Representative Jim Barton. Barton resigned last week to pursue a lobbying job with Kinney Capitol Group. Rumors had circulated that Barton planned to resign, however he denied the allegations.
Love and Barton were two of the more powerful members of the House of Representatives. Love chaired the House Ways and Means Education Committee while Barton chaired the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee.
These resignations come at a time when Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard is under investigation for potentially corrupt business deals.
Several candidates have already emerged to fill Love’s House seat, including Montgomery County Commissioner Dimitri Polizos, former Montgomery County School Board member Charlotte Meadows and Montgomery County School Board Vice President Heather Sellers have all announced intentions to qualify as Republicans.
So far, no Democrats have spoken about intending to run for the district 74 seat.
No candidates have declared an intent to run for the district 104 seat.