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Ducey sets February, April election dates to fill Franks’ seat in Congress

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Monday two election dates to replace a seat in the U.S. House left vacant by former Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned last week.

A special primary election will be held Feb. 27 to determine the nominees for the seat. The newest member of the Arizona congressional delegation will be elected April 24.

Ducey was required by state law to announce the election dates within 72 hours of Franks’ resignation, which was effective Friday.

RELATED: Possible names for Franks’ seat | How special election will work

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan, whose office oversees the state’s elections, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News that potential candidates for the seat will be on a tight timeline.

“It’s a pretty heavy lift for people who want to run for this and for our voters because they’re going to be deciding twice,” she said.

Candidates for Frank’s Congressional District 8 seat will have to get a certain number of signatures by mid-January to file their paperwork on time to be eligible for the special primary and special general elections, according to Ducey’s office.

Republicans will need to get at least 850 signatures, while Democrats will need at least 666.

Should the winner wish to keep the seat, Reagan said he or she will have to run in another primary in August. Should the person win that, he or she would face another primary in November.

Franks announced last week that he would resign his seat after he admitted to offering an aide $5 million to act as a surrogate mother.

He originally said his resignation would be effective Jan. 31, but changed his mind after his wife was admitted to the hospital.

“After discussing options with my family, we came to the conclusion that the best thing for our family now would be for me to tender my previous resignation effective … December 8th, 2017,” a Friday statement read.

The last time Arizona held a special election to replace a member of Congress was in 2012 when former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords resigned after being shot in the head at an event in Tucson.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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