Governor Kay Ivey to call a special election to fill District 10 Rep. David Cole’s seat

WAFF 48's Claudia Peppenhorst reporting
Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 5:35 PM CDT
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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) -House District 10 Representative David Cole was arrested on Tuesday for voting fraud at unauthorized locations, a Class C felony. He his since resigned and signed a plea agreement.

Now that there is a vacant seat, the residents of District 10 are wondering what’s next. Former Secretary of State John Merrill says the answer is simple.

“Whenever there is a legislative vacancy, the only way a vacancy can be filled in Alabama legislature is for the Governor to call a special election,” Merrill said.

A spokesperson with Governor Kay Ivey’s office told WAFF 48 News that is what she plans to do. However, they are not ready to set a date for that election just yet. Until that special election is settled, the seat will remain empty.

Merrill said vetting these candidates is the responsibility of the state GOP.

“The Republican party at the state level is the one that it’s incumbent upon to ensure that those names that have been submitted for consideration are actually eligible to serve,” Merrill said.

Elijah Boyd, the libertarian candidate who ran against Cole, brought the suit that unraveled Cole’s political career.

Boyd said concerns about where Cole actually lived were brought to him by community members and it was something that he simply could not ignore.

“I was surprised,” Boyd said. “It’s definitely not what I wanted out of this but it’s way more than I expected. I brought it as a citizen of District 10 not as a contender in the general election.”

Not only was Cole a State Representative, he was also a physician in Madison County. A member of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners and Medical Licensure Commission said Cole is still able to practice for the time being.

They added that an investigation will open, the board will make a recommendation and the commission will decide whether or not to revoke his license.

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