By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News
The Alabama Republican Party will select a candidate to replace the late Rep. David Wheeler on this year’s general election ballot. According to state law, it has some time to make a decision.
Alabama code says that in the event of a death or resignation of a candidate, the state executive committee “may fill such a vacancy … not later than 76 days before the election.”
Wheeler, a first-term Republican, died March 9.
Candidate certification for the May 24 primary had already passed at the time of Wheeler’s death. He was the only Republican who qualified to run in House District 47 in Jefferson County.
“We are looking for a strong, qualified Republican who has a heart to serve their community,” ALGOP Chairman John Wahl told Alabama Daily News.
Interested potential candidates can still contact the party, he said.
Wahl said this is an unusual situation and the party takes the responsibility of replacing an elected official and candidate seriously.
“We are going to work hard to look for the right candidate, to listen to the constituents in the district, work with local Republicans and our committee members to find the right candidate to represent District 47,” Wahl said.
State law requires the party to pick a nominee by late August, but Wahl said Republicans won’t wait that long.
“Our goal is to have a candidate chosen by the primary election so they have the same time to campaign for the general election as all other candidates.”
There will be a Democrat on the November ballot. Christian Coleman and Jim Toomey are Democrat candidates on the May 24 primary ballot.
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