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Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Secretary of State: Ivey could change US Senate special election By Mary Sell Montgomery Bureau Apr 12, 2017 Updated 1 hr ago
Blogger Comments: It is our deepest hope that Governor Ivey continues draining the swamp. Have a re-election and get rid of U.S. Senator Luther Strange. Strange is as dirty as Governor Bentley and Sheriff Ana Franklin.
Governor Kay Ivey
U.S. Senator Luther Strange. Very Strange
Secretary of State John Merrill
MONTGOMERY — New Gov. Kay Ivey could change the date of the special election for the U.S. Senate “with a stroke of a pen,” Secretary of State John Merrill said Tuesday.
“A new proclamation and it’s done,” Merrill said.
Ivey took office Monday evening after Gov. Robert Bentley resigned and pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors related to the use of his campaign contribution fund. He was facing possible impeachment over an alleged affair with his former adviser and the use of state resources to cover it up.
Bentley in February frustrated some of his GOP colleagues by appointing then-Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to Jeff Sessions’ U.S. Senate seat when Sessions became U.S. attorney general. Strange had asked in November that a state House Judiciary Committee pause its investigation into Bentley, which it did.
Bentley angered some and raised suspicion when he then set a special election for the U.S. Senate seat in November 2018, coinciding with the regular election, giving Strange more than a year in the seat before facing a challenger.
State law says if a U.S. Senate vacancy occurs more than four months before a general election, “the Governor of Alabama shall forthwith order an election to be held by the qualified electors.”
On Tuesday, Eileen Jones, a spokeswoman for Ivey, said the governor is reviewing the date.
“No decision has been made,” Jones said.
Merrill in February disagreed with Bentley waiting to hold the special election. On Tuesday, he said he wasn’t advising Ivey one way or the other on the issue, but encouraging her to do what she’s always done “and that’s put Alabama first.”
He also said that every day that goes by without changing the special election date delays the process about a week. He said Ivey would need to act by May 11 or May 12 in order to have the special election this year.
Merrill in February said the election should be sooner. Bentley cited the cost of a special election as one reason to wait until the regular election cycle. The primary is June 5, 2018.
So far, Strange is the only candidate to file campaign finance documents for the 2018 election.
A spokeswoman for Strange on Tuesday said the senator believes Bentley made the right choice in resigning and the people of Alabama are in good hands with Ivey.
“Sen. Strange is the first and only candidate to announce he’s running for this office and he looks forward to the election,” spokeswoman Shana Teehan said.
Some lawmakers Tuesday said the election shouldn’t wait.
“I believe she should and hope she will (change it),” said Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle.
Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said the experts he’s talked to believe “forthwith” is clear in meaning “as soon as possible.”
“Though there is additional cost, voters ought to have a say on this sooner rather than later,” Orr said.