The special election to replace third district Rep. Mark Souder has been set for Nov. 2, the same day as the general election.
According to the press release, Gov. Mitch Daniels weighed the cost of holding a special election against the amount of time the third district would be without a representative in Congress.
“It seems to me that these interests outweigh any gains from having a member of Congress present for what would amount to no more than 20 voting days,” Daniels said in the press release.
Souder resigned on May 21, and according to state and federal law, the governor of the state sets the date of the special election no sooner than 60 days after the resignation is official. A special election would have likely cost taxpayers 850,000 to 950,000 dollars, according to the Indiana Secretary of State’s office.
The Republican Party will hold a caucus Saturday, June 12 to decide which candidate will represent them in the special election. 504 precinct committee people will vote for the candidate to fill the remainder of Souder’s term. The candidate chosen will also represent the Republican Party in the general election.
Currently 15 candidates have officially submitted their names, and potential candidates have until 10 a.m. Wednesday to file.
State Republican Chairman Murray Clark released rules for the caucus that will quickly eliminate candidates with little support.
In the first round of voting, any candidate with less than five percent of the vote will be eliminated, followed by candidates with less than ten percent of the vote. Afterward, each round of voting will eliminate the lowest percentage candidate until one candidate has more than 50 percent of the vote.
The Democratic Party has set their caucus for June 17 to nominate a candidate for the special election, likely to be Tom Hayhurst, the candidate who won the primary for the general election.
The last time Indiana had a special election was March 11, 2008 when Rep. Andre Carson was elected to fill district seven’s seat after his grandmother, Rep. Julia Carson, passed away while in office.