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Florida’s DeSantis sets date for special election that leaves U.S. House open till 2022

MarketWatch logo MarketWatch 5/7/2021 Associated Press
Cedric Richmond wearing a suit and tie © Pool/Getty Images
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cedric Richmond et al. sitting at a table: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi looks on as Cedric Richmond, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, speaks at a ceremony honoring the late Rep. Alcee Hastings in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol on April 21. © Pool/Getty Images House Speaker Nancy Pelosi looks on as Cedric Richmond, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, speaks at a ceremony honoring the late Rep. Alcee Hastings in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol on April 21.

Video: 2020 Election: Florida in-person early voting has begun (Yahoo! Finance)

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A special primary election to fill the seat of the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings will be held in November, followed by a deciding general election two months later, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday.

Hastings, a Democrat from the Fort Lauderdale area, died April 6. He announced two years ago that he had pancreatic cancer.

At least seven Democrats and one Republican have said they will seek to fill the vacancy in the heavily Democratic district.

During a news conference in Miami, DeSantis announced that the primary would be held Nov. 2. Candidates who win their party’s nomination would advance to a general election set for Jan. 11, 2022.

With a slim majority in Congress, there was some urgency among Democrats to fill the vacancy left by Hastings’ death. One candidate recently filed a lawsuit seeking to force DeSantis to schedule the special election.

“I know there will be a lot of folks that want to run for it. So hopefully that gives them enough time to be able to get on the ballot and do whatever they need to do to be competitive,” the Republican governor said.

See: Florida’s DeSantis signs Republican voting bill that Democrats and critics call un-American

Also: Texas House passes sweeping Republican elections bill in 3 a.m. vote

The 20th Congressional District encompasses much of the Black communities in the Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach areas. Hastings won nearly 80% of the vote in November.

Under Florida law, DeSantis was required to call a special election. He has wide discretion as to when.

Read on: Gov. Ron DeSantis under fire over January vaccinations at upscale enclave in Florida Keys

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