MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Gov. Kay Ivey (R-Ala.) has moved up the special election for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) to December 12, 2017. The new date for the party primary elections for the seat is August 15, with a possible runoff on September 26.
Ivey’s decision moves the election up from the original date, which was set for late 2018.
In her official declaration released at 9:21 a.m. today, Ivey said that the original schedule for the special election was out of step with Alabama law. “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,” said Gov. Ivey. “The new US Senate special election dates this year are a victory for the rule of law.”
Following Sessions’ appointment to head the U.S. Department of Justice, former Gov. Robert Bentley (R) appointed state Attorney General Luther Strange to fill his seat. He plans to run to keep the seat in the upcoming election.
“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,” Strange said in a statement. “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.”
Other prospective contenders for the seat include suspended Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) and outspoken state house member Rep. Ed Henry (R-Hartselle).
In a separate release, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill announced that the deadline to qualify with a Major Political Party is Wednesday, May 17 at 5:00 p.m. The deadline for minor party and independent candidates is Tuesday, August 15 by 5:00 p.m.