Beebe on Tuesday set the special election for the District 24 seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Rick Saunders. Beebe has given the Democratic and Republican parties until Dec. 31 to select their nominees by convention. Independent candidates must file petitions with the state by noon Jan. 7. Write-in candidates have been given the same deadline to file candidacy papers.
The Republican nominated for Saunders' seat died before the Nov. 2 election and an attorney general's opinion said Saunders could legally stay in office until the 2012 election. Saunders said he decided to resign to respect the state's term limits.
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