Alabama House votes to end special elections for US Senate

The Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to do away with special elections for the state's two U.S. Senate seats and instead let the governor's appointee serve for up to two years.

Posted: Jan 25, 2018 6:57 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to do away with special elections for the state's two U.S. Senate seats and instead let the governor's appointee serve for up to two years.

Instead of calling a special election, the governor's would appoint an interim replacement who would serve in the U.S. Senate until the next statewide general election.

Representatives approved the bill in a 67-31 vote that largely split along party lines. Republicans said it would save the state millions of dollars in special election costs. Democrats said the people should vote on a replacement senator as soon as possible. The bill now moves to the Alabama Senate.

The vote came on the heels of last month's special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat that previously belonged to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. U.S. Sen. Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore to become the first Alabama Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in more than 20 years.

Republican Rep. Steve Clouse, the bill's sponsor, said the special election cost the state more than $10 million.

"It has nothing to do with any of the personalities in that race. It has everything to do with the cost to the general fund," said Clouse, of Ozark.

Many Democrats opposed the proposal, saying people should vote as soon as possible.

"The Senate seat is entirely too powerful to give the governor the ability to create an incumbent," said Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa.

Some Democrats suggested the bill was a reaction to Jones' upset victory in a Republican-leaning state.

"I call it the anti-Doug Jones bill," said Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham.

Clouse said he proposed the legislation last year before the outcome of the race.

Alabama law is currently unclear on the timing of special elections to fill Senate vacancies. Existing law says if the vacancy occurs more than four months before a general election, the governor of Alabama shall "forthwith order an election" but does not specify a time frame.

Former Gov. Robert Bentley last year appointed Luther Strange to the Senate seat and said the election would take place in 2018. After Bentley resigned, Gov. Kay Ivey said the election would take place within a few months.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 539829

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798271529
Mobile41261809
Madison35132506
Tuscaloosa25915455
Shelby25294249
Montgomery24705593
Baldwin21392310
Lee15987172
Calhoun14569319
Morgan14422280
Etowah13918353
Marshall12275225
Houston10641282
Elmore10147206
Limestone10065151
St. Clair9946245
Cullman9761194
Lauderdale9457243
DeKalb8865188
Talladega8339176
Walker7260278
Autauga7001108
Jackson6836112
Blount6771139
Colbert6320135
Coffee5578118
Dale4876113
Russell445138
Chilton4369113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia394777
Chambers3590123
Dallas3568153
Clarke351461
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302698
Winston275773
Bibb264564
Geneva254078
Marengo249665
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale223978
Butler219069
Fayette212662
Henry189643
Cherokee184645
Randolph182442
Monroe178141
Washington167739
Macon161150
Clay157157
Crenshaw153557
Cleburne149641
Lamar143236
Lowndes140553
Wilcox127430
Bullock123242
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter104932
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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