MONTGOMERY, Ala. – At 9:21 a.m. today, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a proclamation moving the special election date for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by former Senator and current U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

An August 15 primary will be followed by a runoff on September 26 and the general election on December 12, almost a year earlier than the date scheduled by former Governor Robert Bentley.

“I promised to steady our ship of state. This means following the law, which clearly states the people should vote for a replacement U.S. Senator as soon as possible,” said Ivey. “The new U.S. Senate special election dates this year are a victory for the rule of law.”

“This is a victory for the people of Alabama,” said State Auditor Jim Zeigler, who challenged the former governor’s appointment and had filed a lawsuit seeking the election. “The people kept the pressure on, and in the end, the law was followed.”

The lawsuit was supported by a Legislative Reference Service opinion that Alabama law required the governor “to hold a special election to fill the vacancy of Senator Jeff Sessions without delay at some time prior to the 2018 General Election.”

“Bentley’s appointment of Luther Strange was a travesty,” Zeigler told SylacaugaNews.com. “A prosecutor — Strange – investigating a suspect — Bentley — and the suspect appoints a prosecutor to his dream job. That stinks.”

Governor Ivey will provide more detail in a news conference at noon.

Lee Perryman for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.