A month after Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings’ death on April 6, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Tuesday that the special election for Florida’s 20th Congressional District would not take place until Jan. 11 of next year, meaning the seat will remain without representation for 280 days. That’s almost twice as long as the gap that proceeded the state’s two most recent special elections: In 2014, specials were held in the 13th District just 144 days after Rep. Bill Young died and in the 19th District just 148 days after Rep. Trey Radel resigned. Both were Republicans.
Local election officials in Broward and Palm Beach counties initially proposed the dates that DeSantis wound up choosing, including a primary on Nov. 2. Soon after, however, they suggested the primary take place on Sept. 14 and the general on Nov. 9, with one official saying, “People would like it to be earlier.”