Special elections to replace Trent Franks: What you need to know

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It’s been less than one week since the former member of the House of Representatives Trent Franks resigned from office, and the race to fill his seat is already heating up.

Gov. Doug Ducey announced the dates for the special election Monday. The primary will take place Feb. 27 and the general election will occur on April 24. However, Michele Reagan says, this is only to fill the vacant seat for the duration of the term. The general election for the congressional district is this November, with primaries in August.

TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," SECRETARY OF STATE MICHELLE REAGAN TALKS ABOUT THE SPECIAL ELECTION TO REPLACE TRENT FRANKS, WHO RESIGNED UNDER CONTROVERSY. ALSO TONIGHT, HOW THE CURRENT INCARNATION OF PROPOSED TAX REFORM COULD AFFECT YOU. AND WE'LL GET SOME HOLIDAY CONSUMER TIPS FROM THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THOSE STORIES NEXT, ON ARIZONA HORIZON.

TED SIMONS: "ARIZONA HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS. THANK YOU.

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO ARIZONA HORIZON. I'M TED SIMONS. GOVERNOR DOUG DUCEY THIS MORNING SET THE DATE FOR A SPECIAL ELECTION TO REPLACE U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TRENT FRANKS, WHO RESIGNED LAST WEEK AFTER ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT. THE SPECIAL PRIMARY ELECTION WILL BE FEBRUARY 27TH WITH THE GENERAL ELECTION HELD APRIL 24TH. BY LAW, THE GOVERNOR HAD TO ANNOUNCE ELECTION DATES WITHIN 72 HOURS OF FRANKS' RESIGNATION, WHICH TOOK PLACE FRIDAY. SO FAR, STATE SENATOR STEVE MONTENEGRO AND FORMER CORPORATION COMMISSIONER BOB STUMP HAVE ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WILL RUN FOR FRANKS' SEAT. ARIZONA HORIZON'S ALLYSA ADAMS SPOKE WITH SECRETARY OF STATE MICHELE REAGAN ABOUT THE UPCOMING SPECIAL ELECTION.

ALLYSA ADAMS: SECRETARY REAGAN, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. SO THE GOVERNOR ANNOUNCED THE DATES FOR THE PROCESS TO FILL THE SEAT IN CD-8, SO TELL US WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. WHAT’S THE PROCESS NOW?

MICHELLE REAGAN: WHAT CANDIDATES WILL BE DOING IF INTERESTED IN RUNNING, THEY'LL FILE A STATEMENT THAT THEY ARE RUNNING AND THAT IS ACTUALLY FILED WITH THE FEC. AND THEN THEY'LL BE COMING INTO OUR OFFICE TO GET THE PETITIONS THEY NEED TO START GETTING. THEY NEED TO GET THEM QUICK. ANYONE WHO IS THINKING OF RUNNING NEEDS TO BE PREPARED TO GET ABOUT A THOUSAND SIGNATURES IN 30 DAYS.

ALLYSA ADAMS: AND LET US BE CLEAR, THIS IS JUST FOR THE PRIMARY, CORRECT? PRIMARY FIRST. WE HAVE TO HAVE THE PRIMARY ELECTION.

MICHELLE REAGAN: RIGHT SO THIS WILL BE FIRST OF ALL, JUST FOR VOTERS IN CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 8. THIS WILL BE CALLED A SPECIAL PRIMARY TO BE FOLLOWED BY A SPECIAL GENERAL ELECTION IN THE SPRING. IT'S GOING TO BE A BUSY YEAR AGAIN.
ALLYSA ADAMS: SO WE HAVE THE PRIMARY FIRST AND THOSE DATES ARE IN FEBRUARY. THEN WE’RE GOING TO AN APRIL SPECIAL ELECTION, CORRECT?

MICHELLE REAGAN: CORRECT. ANYONE RUNNING IN THE SPECIAL ELECTION, I'M SURE THEY PREVAIL. THEY ALSO NEED TO BE PREPARED TO RUN AGAIN IN AUGUST AND NOVEMBER WHEN WE HAVE OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTION. ‘CAUSE REMEMBER THIS SPECIAL IS JUST TO FINISH OUT THE CONGRESSMAN’S TERM

ALLYSA ADAMS: WILL DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS HAVE THE SAME PRIMARY DATES FOR THE SPECIAL ELECTION?

MICHELLE REAGAN: ABSOLUTELY. THEY HAVE THE SAME PRIMARY DATES.

ALLYSA ADAMS: WE KNOW THE SPECIAL ELECTION IS GOING TO BE HELD FOR THE PRIMARY ON THE 27TH. THE WINNER FILLS OUT FRANK'S CURRENT TERM. THE PRIMARY DATE FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION ISN'T THEN IMPACTED AT ALL BY THE SPECIAL ELECTION. IT'S SET, CORRECT?

MICHELLE REAGAN: CORRECT. THE LAWS ARE PRETTY SPECIFIC ON THE TIME WINDOWS THAT WE NEED TO HAVE THE ELECTIONS. 80 TO 90 DAYS NEEDS TO BE THE PRIMARY FROM WHEN THE DECISION TO RESIGN WAS MADE, SO IT’S PRETTY SET IN LAW, WE HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF WIGGLE ROOM, BUT IT'S UP TO THE GOVERNOR WHEN THE DATES ARE AND WE’RE GLAD HE SET 'EM.

ALLYSA ADAMS: SO HE SET ‘EM, THEY’RE COMING UP PRETTY FAST, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE?

MICHELLE REAGAN: WELL IT MEANS THAT WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A VERY BUSY BEGINNING OF THE YEAR. PETITIONS ARE DUE JANUARY 10TH. PRIOR TO THIS ANNOUNCEMENT, JANUARY IS THE TIME WE’RE DOWN AT THE LEGISLATURE WORKING ON WITH LEGISLATION WITH THEM. WE HAVE ANOTHER RESPONSIBILITY BUT THAT’S OKAY, THAT’S WHAT WE DO. WE LIKE ELECTIONS. IT WILL BE FUN.

ALLYSA ADAMS: TELL ME ABOUT THE PROCESS FOR BOTH ELECTIONS IS THE SAME FOR GETTING ON THE BALLOT, IS THAT CORRECT?
MICHELLE REAGAN: CORRECT, SO THE PROCESS IS THE SAME, THE CANDIADTES STILL NEED THE SIGNATURES TO QUALIFY FOR THE BALLOT. THE ONLY REAL DIFFERENCE IS THAT IN THIS CASE ANY MONIES THAT ARE RAISED, THEY AREN’T REPORTED TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE, THEY’RE REPORTED OT THE FEC.

ALLYSA ADAMS: OKAY, AND THAT’S BECAUSE IT'S A FEDERAL OFFICE.

ALLYSA ADAMS: OKAY SO IF STATE LAWMAKERS, WE HAVE HEARD A NUMBER OF NAMES OUT THERE ABOUT FOLKS WHO MIGHT WANT TO JUMP INTO THE RACE. NOBODY HAS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED AS OF THIS MORNING, MAYBE BY 5:30 TONIGHT WHEN THIS PIECE AIRS, THEY WILL HAVE. IF A STATE LAWMAKER RUNS, IN EITHER ELECTION THE SPECIAL ELECTION FOR THE SEAT OR THE GENERAL ELECTION FOR THE SEAT, DO THEY HAVE TO GIVE UP THEIR SEAT IN THE LEGISLATURE?

MICHELLE REAGAN: THIS IS ACTUALLY A BIG LEGAL QUESTION THAT WE ARE TRYING TO DETERMINE AND HUDDLING WITH LAWYERS AS WE SPEAK. AND THAT IS BECAUSE NORMALLY RUN LAWS DON'T KICK IN IF YOU ARE IN THE LAST YEAR OF YOUR TERM. HOWEVER FOR THE LEGISLATURE AND THE LEGISLATORS THAT HAVE MENTIONED THEY ARE INTERESTED IN RUNNING, THEIR YEAR SO TO SPEAK DOESN’T YEAR UNTIL JANUARY 14TH WHEN THE SESSION BEGINS. SO KEEP IN MIND, SIGNATURES ARE DUE ON JANUARY 10TH. THERE IS A BIG LEGAL QUESTION FAR ABOVE MY PAY GRADE AND YOURS, OF EXACTLY WHAT DOES THIS MEAN. ANY OTHER TIME WE HAVE HAD RESIGNATIONS LIKE THIS, MOST RECENTLY WHEN CONGRESSWOMAN GIFFORDS RESIGNED, IT WAS DURING LAWMAKERS LAST YEAR OF THEIR TERM SO IT WAS A LITTLE MORE CUT AND DRY THAN IT IS NOW.

ALLYSA ADAMS: AT THIS POINT, YOU ARE TALKING TO LAWYERS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE AND GOES THROUGH COURTS OR WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE?

MICHELLE REAGAN: THAT'S TO BE DETERMINED. IT'S ALWAYS EASIER WHEN IT’S REALLY SPELLED OUT. AND THE RESIGN TO RUN LAW IS PRETTY CLEAR. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR LEGISLATORS?

ALLYSA ADAMS: WHAT IF THE LEGISLATORS HAVE SAID THEY ARE ALREADY RUNNING FOR OTHER STATE WIDE OFFICES, SECRETARY OF STATE OR STATE TREASURER, ARE THEY ALLOWED TO RUN THEN IN THE SPECIAL ELECTION FOR CD-8?

MICHELLE REAGAN: A COUPLE OF INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT THIS SPECIAL PRIMARY, FIRST OF ALL, TECHNICALLY, THEY CAN CONTINUING RUNNING FOR BOTH -- I THINK IT WOULD BE HARD TO GET SIGNATURES FOR BOTH. TECHNICALLY, THEY CAN DO THAT. IF SOMEBODY WAS TO RUN AND NOT PREVAIL, THEY ALSO COULD TRY AGAIN IN AUGUST. THERE IS A LOT OF INTERESTING SCENARIOS THAT WE’VE SEEN PLAY OUT FOR SOME TIME.

ALLYSA ADAMS: IT'S AN INTERESTING COUPLE OF MONTHS, ISN'T IT? WHAT ABOUT THINGS LIKE, INFORMATION PAMPHLETS BOTH ELECTIONS?

MICHELLE REAGAN: MOST OF THE WORK WILL FALL ON MARICOPA COUNTY AND THEN OF COURSE THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE WE PLAN ON WORKING REALLY CLOSELY WITH THEM. THE BIGGEST THING NOW IS COST. OBVIOUSLY NO ONE ANTICIPATED THIS, ITS NOT IN THE BUDGET. IT COST AROUND $3 MILLION WE ESTIMATE FOR THE ELECTION. WE DON'T WANT TO FORCE IT ON ONE COUNTY TO PAY FOR. THIS IS SOMETHING THE STATE SHOULD LOOK AT AND I'LL BE TALKING TO THE LEGISLATURE ABOUT APPROPRIATING SOMETHING TO HELP WITH THE COSTS FOR MARICOPA COUNTY.
ALLYSA ADAMS: IN ADDITION TO WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOUR OFFICE, THIS MAY HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE ELECTION FOR YOUR SEATS.

MICHELLE REAGAN: IT COULD. YOU NEVER KNOW. I HAPPEN TO BE ONE OF THE PEOPLE THAT LIKES CAMPAIGNING. I LIKE TRAVELING THE STATE. I'M IN A PRETTY GOOD POSITION MYSELF CONSIDERING MY SIGNATURES ARE DONE AND HAD QUITE A FEW SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISERS. WHOEVER WANTS TO RUN OR WHOEVER DOES RUN, SO BE IT. I THINK IF SOMEONE IS GOING TO RUN FOR THIS CONGRESSIONAL SEAT, THEY MAY WANT TO CONSIDER BEING ALL IN. JUST BECAUSE OF THE FACTS THAT THE TIMEFRAMES ARE SO SHORT. 30 DAYS TO GET A THOUSAND SIGNATURES IS A BIG LIFT.

ALLYSA ADAMS: THANK YOU FOR COMING DOWN HERE. WE'LL BE WATCHING. YOU GUYS WILL BE BUSY. WE’LL BE IN TOUCH AND WE APPRECIATE YOU COMING DOWN TO TALK ABOUT THIS.

MICHELLE REAGAN: ANYTIME. THANK YOU.

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