Robert Bentley sets special election for District 58 House seat

Voters in a voting booth_Election Day

Governor Robert Bentley announced on Monday there will be a special election to fill the vacant District 58 seat in the Alabama House of Representatives.

According to the special election timeline finalized Monday, if a primary election is needed for Jefferson County’s House District 58 seat, party members will cast their votes Tuesday,Feb. 28, 2017 and the General Election will follow on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, according to a news release from the governor’s office. If a primary runoff is needed, it will take place May 16, 2017 and the special general election will be Aug. 1, 2017.

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

Major party candidates will have to qualify with their respective parties byDec. 27, 2016 by 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, Dec. 28, 2016. Third-party and independent candidates have to file the necessary paperwork with the Alabama Secretary of State by February 28, 2017, at 5:00 p.m.

The seat was previously held by Oliver Robinson, who served in House District 58 in Birmingham for the past 18 years. Last Wednesday, Robinson announced his immediate retirement in order to allow his daughter to take a position in the Governor’s office and avoid a conflict of interest.