Holding a special election to fill a vacant local Missouri House of Representatives seat the same day as a primary election for the same seat was described as “tricky” by a state official Monday. Friday, Gov. Jay Nixon scheduled a special election to be held Aug. 5, 2014, for the vacant House seat in the 120th Legislative District, which covers parts of Phelps and Crawford counties, as well as two other districts in the state with vacancies in the House. Aug. 5 is also the date of the primary election for county and state legislative offices in Missouri. This could result in some candidates appearing on two ballots simultaneously — one that would allow them to serve in the House for the final five months of 2014 and another that would make them their party’s nominee for a regular two-year term to begin in January.
Laura Swinford, communications director for the Missouri secretary of state’s office, said that when registered voters in the 120th District go to the polls Aug. 5, they will get two ballots. The ballot for the special election will have only two candidates who will be nominated by the 120th District Republican and Democratic committees. These individuals could be sworn in sometime in August and will serve in the seat until January 2015.
The other ballot will have all of the candidates who have filed for the primary election. This may include the same nominees picked by the committees as well as anybody who wants to file.
The winning candidate in the primary will then go on to run in the November general election. The winner of the November election will then be sworn in to serve in the Missouri Legislature for the session that starts in January 2015.