DeSantis sets date for special election to replace Hastings


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has set a date for the special election to fill the vacant congressional seat held by the late Rep. Alcee Hastings.

DeSantis said during a press conference in Miami on Tuesday that the primary election will be scheduled for Nov. 2 and will be followed by a general election on Jan. 11.

The 84-year-old Hastings died last month after a two year fight with pancreatic cancer. He was first elected to Congress in 1992.

Crowded Field: Hastings represented a district that includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties. The seat is in a safe Democratic district and the winner of the primary will likely be heading to Congress. Multiple candidates have jumped into the race, including three legislators, two Broward County Commissioners and a former Palm Beach legislator.

Complaints: DeSantis waited nearly a month before announcing his plans to set a special election date, a move that drew complaints from Democrats. They speculated that the governor was delaying a final decision in order to keep the seat vacant as long as possible. After Hastings death, Democrats now only have a six-vote majority in the U.S. House.

The final dates picked by DeSantis match the ones suggested to him back in April by Broward County Supervisor of Elections Joe Scott.