The House Legislative Black Caucus says Gov. Robert Bentley is breaking state election law by waiting until 2018 to hold the election for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat. Caucus members said during a press conference on Tuesday, Bentley needs to be "forthwith" and call for a special election.
Representative Chris England of Tuscaloosa says there are two code sections that address the appointment of a senator. He believes the law is clear that a special election should be called in 2017 instead of waiting until the 2018 regular statewide election as Bentley plans. He explained that the century-old law on Senate vacancies states, elections shall be called “forthwith” and most people consider that immediately without any undue delay.
Bentley responded to the Black Caucus and announced dates for a special election. According to Bentley a special primary election will be held on June 5, 2018. If necessary, a primary runoff date is set for July 17, 2018, and the seat will be permanently filled by a special general election on Nov. 6, 2018.
Last week Bentley appointed Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to the seat held by former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions.