Governor Steve Beshear today set a special election date to fill a vacant legislative seat in the 82nd House district. Rep. Dewayne Bunch resigned his office last month in order to focus on his recovery from a head injury earlier this year.
The special election will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011, for the district that includes Whitley County and a portion of Laurel County. Kentucky law dictates that the governor must issue the writ for a special election for a member of the General Assembly, if the vacancy occurs when the legislature is not in session.
“Holding the special election in December means citizens of Whitley County and those in the Laurel County portion of the 82nd district will have representation in the next session of the General Assembly,” Gov. Beshear said. “This session will review multiple issues important to our state, including approving a budget. It is critical that all Kentuckians have a voice in the House of Representatives.”
The next session of the General Assembly is scheduled to begin on Jan. 3, 2012.
Gov. Beshear is calling the election now because the writ of election must be forwarded to sheriffs in the affected counties at least 35 days before the election. Since voting machines must remain locked for 30 days after the Nov. 8 general election, Dec. 20 is one of the first available dates for the special election.
The winner will take office immediately upon certification of the election results and the administration of the oath of office.