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Gov. DeSantis announces special election dates for Alcee Hastings' congressional seat

The South Florida representative died earlier this year.
Credit: vesperstock - stock.adobe.com
Election day voting booths.

MIAMI — Nearly one month after the death of Rep. Alcee Hastings, the fiercely liberal longtime Florida congressman who was dogged by an impeachment that ended his fast-rising judicial career, Gov. Ron DeSantis is announcing details about a special election for his seat.

During a press conference Tuesday in Miami, the governor said those looking to run for the 20th congressional district's seat will need to qualify by the first week of September.

“You know, I know, as someone who ran for it before there’s a lot that goes into it. I know there’ll 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 and do whatever they need to do to be competitive," DeSantis said

A primary election will follow on Nov. 2 with Jan. 11 being the targeted date for the general election. 

No further details regarding the process were released, but the governor did note an executive order on the matter is coming soon.

Hastings' death was confirmed by his chief of staff, Lale M. Morrison on April 6. The representative, a Democrat from the Fort Lauderdale area, announced two years ago that he had pancreatic cancer.

Hastings was known as an advocate for minority communities, a defender of Israel and a voice for people who are LGBTQ, immigrants, women or elderly. He held senior posts on the House Rules Committee and the Helsinki Commission, which works with other countries on a variety of multinational issues.

But his impeachment remained a nagging footnote. It was repeatedly invoked in news accounts and seen as derailing his ambitions for a greater leadership role.

“That seems to be the only thing of significance to people who write,” Hastings told The Associated Press in 2013, predicting that the impeachment would be in the lead paragraph of his obituary.

Despite his seniority, Hastings was passed over for chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee when the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006. But as he did time and again throughout his life, he insisted his fight wasn’t over and that he wouldn’t be discouraged.

“Sorry, haters,” he said when not chosen for the intelligence posting, “God is not finished with me yet.”

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