North Dakota drew one step closer Monday to joining a minority of states requiring special elections to fill vacancies in the U.S. Senate. The Senate passed House Bill 1181 by a 27-20 vote. The bill would require the governor to call a special election to be held within 95 days. If the Senate term is set to expire in less than 95 days, no election to fill the vacancy would be needed. A pair of amendments by Democratic-NPL senators failed prior to the final vote. One was to allow for an interim appointment to the Senate, the other would have required elections for all statewide offices.
Bill carrier Sen. Dick Dever, R-Bismarck, said the timing of the bill made it contentious. When HB1181 was introduced, Democrats slammed it as being aimed at Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., who has been rumored to be considering a run for governor in 2016.
… Supporters of the bill have said the people, not the governor, should be allowed to determine who represents them in the Senate as is done with U.S. House vacancies.
Full Article: U.S. Senate vacancies bill passes.