- Associated Press - Friday, January 22, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A special election to fill a state Senate seat in parts of Madison and Hinds County is set for March 8.

Gov. Phil Bryant set the nonpartisan election Friday. A runoff, if needed would be on March 29.

The District 25 seat became vacant earlier this week when Bryant appointed former senator Will Longwitz to a county court judgeship in Madison County.

Though candidates will run without party labels, two Republicans jumped into the race Tuesday to succeed Longwitz. Walter Michel of Ridgeland, who works for his family’s commercial real estate leasing and management business, served three terms in the state Senate before stepping down in 2011. Madison businessman Bill Billingsley lost the 2015 Republican primary for the Senate seat to Longwitz.

Candidates have until Feb. 8 to qualify.

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