Replacement procedure outlined
by Ron Gregory
- Charleston — The resignation of Debate Derrick Evans (R-Wayne) has caused a number of readers to inquire as to how he will be replaced.
The applicable section of state code is §3-10-5. Vacancies in state Legislature.
The code reads as follows:
“(a) Any vacancy in the office of state senator or member of the House of Delegates shall be filled by appointment by the Governor, from a list of three legally qualified persons submitted by the party executive committee of the same political party with which the person holding the office immediately preceding the vacancy was affiliated at the time the vacancy occurred. The list of qualified persons to fill the vacancy shall be submitted to the Governor within 15 days after the vacancy occurs and the Governor shall duly make his or her appointment to fill the vacancy from the list of legally qualified persons within five days after the list is received. If the list is not submitted to the Governor within the 15-day period, the Governor shall appoint within five days thereafter a legally qualified person of the same political party with which the person holding the office immediately preceding the vacancy was affiliated at the time the vacancy occurred.
“(b) In the case of a member of the House of Delegates, the list shall be submitted by the party executive committee of the delegate district in which the vacating member resided at the time of his or her election or appointment. The appointment to fill a vacancy in the House of Delegates is for the unexpired term.”
Under the terms of the code, the Republican executive committee of the 19th Delegate District, which covers most of Wayne County, will have up to 15 days to submit replacement names for nomination to the Governor.
The Governor will have five days from the receipt of those names to make the appointment. (Note: That’s five days from receipt of the names when that clock begins running, which can be before that 15-day window ends).
The 85th Legislature will convene at noon on Wednesday, January 13, for its organizational session. As is standard following gubernatorial election years, it will then adjourn until February 10, when it will begin the regular 60-day session for 2021.
Thus, there is sufficient time for Evans’ replacement to be in place by February 10.