By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, July 14, the Alabama Republican Party Steering Committee, acting on behalf of the Alabama Republican Party, announced a resolution opening candidate qualifying and accepting 5:00pm Monday, July 27, as the deadline to qualify as a Republican to fill the vacancy in Alabama House District 5, created by the death of State Representative Dan Williams (R-Athens).
Rep. Williams died on July 1, from leukemia.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has set the Special Primary election for House District 5 on September 29, 2015. The Special General election has been scheduled for December 8, 2015 unless there is a primary runoff in which case the special party runoff will be on December 8 and the Special General election will be held on February 16, 2016.
GOP qualifying is now open. A qualifying form must be completed and submitted to the Alabama Republican Party along with a qualifying fee of $1,000.
For more information, please contact Alabama Republican Party Political Director Reed Phillips at [email protected] or phoning 205-212-5900.
Governor Bentley announced the timeline for the special election on Thursday, July 9.
Gov. Bentley said in a statement, “Rep. Dan Williams worked hard for the people in the 5th district and the city of Athens. My prayers are with Dan’s family during this difficult time. I know Dan will be truly missed, but his legacy will forever live on.” Williams was a former mayor of Athens.
The House honored Rep. Dan Williams in a motion on Monday, July 13 during the Special Session.
Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) said in a statement, “The State of Alabama and the citizens of Limestone County lost a dedicated public servant in the passing of Rep. Dan Williams. Mayor Dan, as he was affectionately called, was a hard-working and effective legislator who worked tirelessly for his constituents. His perpetual good cheer and devoted friendship will be greatly missed in the halls of the State House. Susan and I offer our sincere condolences and prayers to Representative William’s family and the people of the 5th district.”
District 5 covers Limestone County. According to the election timeline released Thursday, Gov. Bentley said, “This election timeline is designed to have a representative in place for the citizens of District 5 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.”
Candidates qualifying with major political parties must do so by Monday, July 27, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. The two major political parties have until 5:00 pm on Wednesday, July 19 to certify their qualified candidates to the Secretary of State.
The Governor has given all third-party candidates, independent candidates, and/or minor party candidates who are seeking ballot access until Tuesday, September 29 to file the appropriate notification, petitions, or supporting paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office.
To get on the ballot third party candidates have to get registered voters from the district to sign petitions allowing them to be on the ballot. It is a very cumbersome and expensive proposition. Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) has sponsored legislation to make ballot access easier for independents and fringe party candidates, but that legislation has stalled repeatedly due to major party opposition.