JACKSON — Special elections have been set for seats in the Mississippi Legislature left vacant by the recent death of two lawmakers.
Voters will select a successor to the late Sen. Alice Harden on Feb. 5.
If no candidate wins a majority, a runoff will be held Feb. 26.
Gov. Phil Bryant set the election dates. Candidates, who will run without party labels, must qualify by Jan. 7. Senate District 28 covers parts of Hinds County.
Harden, a Democrat from Jackson, died Dec. 6. She was 64. The former educator was the first black woman elected to the Mississippi Senate, winning office in 1987.
The Senate usually has 52 members. There are two vacancies now because of the deaths of Harden and Sen. Bennie Turner of West Point, also a black Democrat.
In a separate item, Angela Turner Lairy and Kenny Fowler have qualified to run a Jan. 15 special election to succeed the late Sen. Bennie Turner, who died in November.
The winner of the nonpartisan election will complete the remainder of Turner’s term.
Lairy, an attorney in West Point, is Turner’s daughter. Fowler is a businessman.
Senate District 16 includes parts of Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee and Oktibbeha counties.