MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama’s new governor has moved up the election for the Senate seat left vacant by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to this summer, reversing former Gov. Robert Bentley’s plan to wait until 2018.
Gov. Kay Ivey announced Tuesday she was calling a special election.
“I promised to steady our ship of state. This means following the law, which clearly states the people should vote for a replacement US Senator as soon as possible,” Governor Kay Ivey said. “The new US Senate special election dates this year are a victory for the rule of law.”
The new schedule sets the primary Aug. 15 with a runoff Sept. 26. The general election will be Dec. 12.
“This is not a hastily-made decision. I consulted legal counsel, the finance director, Speaker McCutcheon, Senate President Del Marsh, and both budget chairmen since the cost to the General Fund could be great. However, following the law trumps the expense of a special election,” added Ivey.
Bentley appointed former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to the seat and said the election would coincide with the 2018 scheduled elections.
Strange told News 5 that he is a ready and willing candidate in the special election slated for later this year.
As I’ve said for months, I’m a candidate and I’m ready to run whether the election is next month or next year. As the only announced candidate for this office, I will spend the next several months being the best Senator I can be, upholding Alabama values and working with President Donald Trump to drain the swamp and help make America great again. The people of Alabama deserve nothing less and ultimately it will be up to them to decide who will represent them in Washington.”
The proclamation was signed this morning at 9:21 a.m.