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Bentley sets special election for House District 58

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, December 5, 2016 Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) announced the timeline for a special election in House District 58.

Alabama House of Representatives District 58 was vacated when Representative Oliver Robinson (D from Birmingham) announced his resignation. Robinson resigned in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest with his daughter’s recent appointment by Governor Bentley to be his legislative liaison. Robinson’s resignation was effective on Monday, following eighteen years of service.

Governor Bentley said. “Representative Robinson is to be commended for his 18 years of dedication and service to the people of District 58.”

House District 58 covers portions of Jefferson County, Alabama’s largest county.

A Special Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 if more than one candidate qualifies for the same major party.

The Special General Election will be held on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, unless a Special Primary Runoff Election is necessary, then it would be held on Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

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If a primary runoff is necessary, then the Special General Election will be held on Tuesday, August 1, 2017.

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.”

Candidates qualifying with the two major political parties must do so by Tuesday, December 27, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. The two major political parties are to certify their qualified candidates to the Secretary of State by no later than 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 28, 2016.

Third-party candidates, independent candidates, and/or minor party candidates seeking ballot access have to have all the appropriate notifications, petitions, or supporting paperwork with the Secretary of State is Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at 5:00 p.m.

Recently a failed third party candidate for Congress challenged the number of signed petitions from registered voters living in the district are needed for a minor party or independent candidate to qualify in a special election. The federal court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, but that decision has been appealed by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office, so presently there is no change in the law. Contact the Secretary of State’s office for more details about running for this seat as an independent or minor party candidates and the number of valid signatures needed for ballot access.

Candidates who wish to qualify as a major party candidate should contact the Alabama Democratic Party or the Alabama Republican Party.

District 58 is majority minority district that tends to vote for Democrats.

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Oliver Robinson’s departure means that Alabama Democrats House Minority will likely have a second vacancy when the Alabama House of Representatives meets for the 2017 regular legislative session.

Rep. Darrio Melton (D from Selma) recently resigned his House District 67 seat after he was elected Mayor of Selma. There qualifying has ended. The HD67 candidates are Democrats: Raymond J. Butler, Valenci’a Quest, Prince Chestnut, and Latrell “Champ” Richardson. No Republican qualified.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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