By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, November 9 Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) announced the timeline for a special election to fill the Alabama House District 80 seat vacated by the death of Representative Lesley Vance (R). District 80 covers portions of Lee and Russell Counties. Governor Bentley said, “Representative Vance was a great man and a dedicated public servant. I know the next representative for District 80 will be a strong advocate for people in the district, just like Rep. Vance was during his time in the Alabama House of Representatives.”
Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R from Auburn) said, “The citizens of Russell and Lee Counties and the entire state of Alabama lost a great leader in the passing of Representative Lesley Vance. Chairman Vance was a fine man and an effective legislator who nobly fought for his constituents for more than 20 years.”
Major party candidates will have just one week to qualify. According to the special election timeline candidates qualifying with major political parties have until just Tuesday, November 17, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. The two major political parties must certify their qualified candidates to the Secretary of State by no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 19, 2015.
The special Primary Election for the District 80 House seat will be held on Tuesday, January 19, 2016. If a Special Primary Election is not necessary because the major parties have only one candidate, the Special General Election will be held on Tuesday, April 12, 2016.
If a Special Primary Runoff Election is necessary because of one candidate not receiving a majority of the votes in the Special Primary Election it will be held on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.
If a Special Primary Runoff Election is not necessary because one candidate receives a majority of the votes in the Special Primary Election, the Special General Election will be held on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. If a Special Primary Runoff Election is required, the Special General Election will be held on Tuesday, May 10, 2013.
Gov. Bentley said, “This timeline gives candidates time to qualify, allows voters time to learn about candidates, and allows time for those who are unable to vote in-person to arrange to vote by absentee ballot.”
All third-party candidates, independent candidates, and/or minor party candidates seeking ballot access must turn in all of their appropriate notification, petitions, or supporting paperwork with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office on Tuesday, January 19, 2016, at 5:00 p.m.
Secretary of State John Merrill told the ‘Alabama Political Reporter’ that the schedule was expedited as much as possible so that District 80 could have a Representative in place for at least part of the 2016 legislative session. Sec. Merrill said that Rep. Vance had been sick for many months.