Special Set

Posted February 23, 2007 at 6:41pm

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) has asked that June 19 be the date for a special election to fill the 10th district seat of Rep. Charlie Norwood (R), who died Feb. 13.

State Sens. Ralph Hudgens (R) and Jim Whitehead (R) have emerged as the early frontrunners in the race for the Augusta-based seat, which leans heavily toward Republicans.[IMGCAP(1)]

Both men will have to relinquish their state legislative seats once they qualify to run in the special election under Georgia law. Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel (R) has agreed to set the qualifying date for the Congressional election after the current session of the General Assembly concludes, allowing Hudgens and Whitehead to continue to serve through the end of the session.

Several Democrats have said they are contemplating running in the special election. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent in the all-party June special election, a runoff between the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will be held on July 17.

— Lauren W. Whittington