There is currently a vacancy in House District 56 due to the death of Representative Gina M. Mason (R-Lisbon) on September 5, 2017.
There must be a request from at least one town in a district in order for a Special Election to be held to fill a vacancy. The Governor has set Tuesday, November 7, 2017, as the date for the Special Election to fill the vacancy. 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 3, has been set as the deadline for the political parties to file the Certificate of Nomination for their candidates with the Secretary of State. October 10th, is the deadline for non-party candidates to file their petitions to run for the vacant seat. Write-in candidates must file a Declaration of Write-in Candidacy with the Secretary of State by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.
The following candidates have met the filing requirements and will be on the ballot on November 3rd:
Until there has been a Special Election to fill the vacancy, you should contact your State Senator with any questions and concerns you may have:
Garrett P. Mason (R-Androscoggin)
According to the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part First - House of Representatives, Section 6 - Vacancies as follows:
Whenever the seat of a member shall be vacated by death, resignation, or otherwise the vacancy may be filled by a new election.
The procedure for filling a vacancy in the House of Representatives is described in the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated, Title 21-A, Section 382:
When there is a vacancy in the office of Representative to the Legislature, the municipal officers of any municipality affected by the vacancy may inform the Governor if there is a need to fill the vacancy before the next general election, and the Governor shall issue a proclamation declaring the vacancy and ordering a special election under section 366.
1. Nominees chosen. The Governor shall order the appropriate political committees to meet and shall set the deadline for choosing nominees, which may not be less than 15 days following the Governor's proclamation declaring a vacancy. The committees shall follow the procedure outlined in section 363.
The general provisions for vacancies are found in the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated, Title 21-A, Section 361 - 367:
Title 21-A, Section 361. Vacancy defined
A vacancy in any federal, state or county office, in the office of an election official, or in any political committee occurs when the incumbent dies, resigns, becomes disqualified or changes his residence to an electoral division other than that from which he was elected or when the person elected fails to qualify.
1. Filled for unexpired term. A vacancy in any office shall be filled for an unexpired term, except where it is specifically provided to the contrary.
Title 21-A, Section 362, Governor's proclamation for political committee meetings (REPEALED)
Title 21-A, Section 362-A. Secretary of State declares vacancy
When required by this subchapter, the Secretary of State shall declare a vacancy under section 361 and notify the appropriate political committee of the deadline for filling the vacancy.
Title 21-A, Section 363. Political committee; choosing candidates and nominees
The meeting of a political committee as required by sections 371, 373, 374-A, 381, 382 and 393 is governed by the following provisions.
1. Time and place of meeting. The committee shall meet at the time and place chosen by the committee.
2. Duties of committee. The committee shall choose a qualified person to fill the vacancy. The secretary of the committee shall immediately deliver a certificate to the Secretary of State containing the name of the person chosen, his residence, his political party, title of the office sought, and the method by which he was chosen. The certificate must be signed by the chairman of the committee and attested to by the secretary.A. In an electoral division consisting of more than one municipality, the municipal committee of each municipality shall meet jointly, elect a secretary and a chairman for the meeting and then fill the vacancy.
3. Acceptance filed. A person chosen under this section must file a written acceptance containing a statement that the person meets the qualifications of the office sought and declaring the person's residence and party enrollment with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall provide a form on which the statement is made by the candidate that must include a list of the statutory and constitutional requirements of the office sought by the candidate.
4. Changes in ballot. The Secretary of State shall make the necessary changes in the ballot.
5. Caucus. Following the proclamation of the Governor pursuant to section 382, a municipality that has not held a biennial caucus has 15 days to hold a caucus to nominate or elect a person to fill a vacancy under section 382.
Title 21-A, Section 364. Candidacy by nomination petition
The nomination of a candidate, other than by party, to fill a vacancy must be made by nomination petition. The nomination process is in the same manner as provided by subchapter II, except that all petitions must be filed by 5 p.m. on the deadline for filling the vacancy set by the Secretary of State pursuant to section 362-A.
Title 21-A, Section 365. Jurisdiction
The political committee that has jurisdiction over the choice of a candidate for nomination or a nominee to fill a vacancy under sections 371, 373, 374-A, 381 and 382 is as follows.
1. Municipal committee. Choices for Representative to the Legislature must be made by a municipal committee when a representative district consists of one municipality, by a joint meeting of municipal committees when a representative district consists of 2 or more municipalities or by members of a municipal committee or committees residing within a representative district when the representative district includes a part of a municipality or parts of different municipalities.
2. County committee. A county committee makes choices for all county offices and committee members residing within senatorial districts make choices for State Senator.
3. District committee. A district committee makes choices for Representative to Congress.
4. State committee. A state committee makes choices for Governor, United States Senator and presidential elector.
Title 21-A, Section 366. Special elections
The proclamation of a special election must specify the time and place it must be held as well as any necessary filing, posting, publishing and reporting dates. A special election must be publicized and conducted like its regular counterpart, as nearly as practicable.
Title 21-A, Section 367. Candidate withdrawal
A candidate who wishes to withdraw from an elective race shall notify the Secretary of State in writing of the candidate's intent to withdraw. This notice must be signed by the candidate. If the reason for the withdrawal is catastrophic illness, the procedures set forth in section 374-A, subsection 1, paragraph B must be complied with if the candidate is to be replaced.