The Ashley and Drew County Republican committees issued a news release Tuesday offering their condolences to the family of the late District 9 state representative, Sheilla Lampkin, D-Monticello, and announcing that the committees will not hold a district convention to select a Republican nominee for an upcoming special election to complete Lampkin’s unexpired term. The term ends on Dec. 31, 2016.
Although state law allows the governor to choose not to call a special election when a seat becomes vacant within 150 days of an election for that seat, Gov. Asa Hutchinson last week called a special election to fill the vacant seat. The special election will coincide with the November 8 General Election.
“Filling this vacant seat for a two-month period would only cost the taxpayers money and we see no need to have someone in this position when the legislature will not be in session and there will be no business being conducted,” Drew County GOP Chairman Diana Harton said.
Harton said the two Republican committees would also like to take the opportunity to offer their condolences to Lampkin’s family. “Her years of service in her community and state were an inspiration to us all,” Harton said.
Lampkin died on July 23. She was seeking her fourth term.
The Democratic committees from both counties will, however, hold a district-wide convention on August 4 when delegates from the two counties will select a nominee for both the special election to fill the vacant seat and the election for the upcoming two-year term.
The Democratic nominee will be unopposed in the special election to fill the vacant seat, but will face Republican Jim Hall in the November 8 General Election for the upcoming two-year term which begins on January 1, 2017.