Gov. Ron DeSantis announces special election for U.S. House 20 to fill seat held by Alcee Hastings

Primary to be held Nov. 2
Posted at 3:53 PM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-04 21:20:44-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The dates for the special election to fill the vacated seat for Florida's 20th congressional district were announced Tuesday afternoon by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The governor made the announcement during a news conference at West Miami Middle School.

The seat became open following the death last month of longtime U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings.

Through an executive order, the governor said the primary for the seat will be held Nov. 2 while the general election will be held Jan. 11.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announces special election for U.S. House 20

"I think that puts qualifying towards the end of the first week of September, and I know as someone who ran for [a Congressional seat], there's a lot that goes into it," DeSantis said. "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."

There have already been eight candidates, seven Democrats and one Republican, who announced they are running for the seat.

Last week, one of the candidates, Rev. Elvin Dowling, filed a federal lawsuit against DeSantis, claiming the governor was intentionally delaying the special election.

Recent Special Elections To Fill Congressional Seats

The last two special elections held in Florida to fill congressional seats were held no more than six months after they became vacant.

U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler announced his resignation in October 2009 and officially left office the following January.

The seat was filled in a special general election in April 2010.

U.S. Rep. Bill Young died in October 2013. His successor was elected five months later.

With Tuesday's announcement, the Hastings seat will be vacant for 10 months before the general election.