Robert Bentley calls for Special Election to replace the late Lesley Vance

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Gov. Robert Bentley released one of his most solemn orders in recent memory Monday night, calling for a special election in House District 80 to replace the late Rep. Lesley Vance.

Vance passed away last Tuesday at the age of 76, after a long struggle with what news reports have called “an extended illness.”

The timeline for the special election, set for April 12, is as follows according to an announcement from the governor’s office:

  • A Special Primary Election for the District 80 House seat will be held on Tuesday, January 19, 2016.  Or, in the event that 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 necessary because of one candidate not receiving a majority of the votes in the Special Primary Election, a Special Primary Runoff Election 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, 2013.
  • If a Special Primary Runoff Election is required, the Special General Election will be held on Tuesday, May 10, 2013.

Major-party candidates have until Tuesday, November 17 at 5:00 p.m. to file to run for the seat. The state parties must certify their qualified candidates to the Secretary of State within 48 hours in order to appear on the ballot.

“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 in a release.

“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,” said Bentley.

HD 80 covers parts of Lee and Russell counties, in the state’s eastern central region.

“Today, the citizens of Russell and Lee Counties and the entire state of Alabama lost a great leader in the passing of Representative Lesley Vance,” Hubbard said last week. “Chairman Vance was a fine man and an effective legislator who nobly fought for his constituents for more than 20 years.”

Vance was first elected to the Legislature in 1994, switching his party affiliation to Republican in 2010, giving the GOP a supermajority in the Alabama House.

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