Alabama governor sets 2017 special election for Strange’s Senate seat

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Alabama’s new governor, Kay Ivey, on Tuesday announced dates later this year for a special election for the Senate seat formerly held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and now occupied by Republican Luther Strange.

Ivey’s proclamation sets the primary for Aug. 15 and a runoff for Sept. 26. The general election will be on Dec. 12, almost a year ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Sessions’ term expires in 2020. Former Gov. Robert Bentley, who resigned on April 10, appointed Strange, then the state attorney general, to the seat on Feb. 9.

“This is not a hastily-made decision. I consulted legal counsel, the finance director, Speaker [Mac] McCutcheon, Senate President Del Marsh, and both budget chairmen since the cost to the General Fund could be great," Ivey said in a statement. "However, following the law trumps the expense of a special election."