Instead, an election will take place during the normal 2018 elections, giving Sessions’ successor over a year in the new position to build a campaign war chest and prove themselves to the people of Alabama, Bentley said on Thursday.
According to AL.com, who first reported the announcement, the governor claims the decision to forgo a special election in 2017 could save the state up to $16 million. Yasamie August, a spokeswoman for Bentley, confirmed Thursday afternoon.
Sessions is poised become the United States’ next Attorney General in President-Elect Donald Trump‘s administration.
Should that happen, he will leave behind a coveted U.S. Senate seat in the Yellowhammer State, leaving Bentley to appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
Earlier Thursday, Bentley announced he anticipates to make his replacement selection by Friday, but will withhold announcing his choice until after Sessions is confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
20 people have been interviewed for the position by Bentley, and according to the governor’s spokeswoman no one else will be considered.