Speaker of the House Samuel H. Smith (R-Jefferson County) Monday ordered a special election be held to fill the vacant seat in the 78th Legislative District in Bedford, Fulton and Huntingdon counties on January 28, 2014.
Smith filed the writ of election, the formal document setting the date of a special election, with the Department of State. A copy of the writ is also being filed with the board of elections for each affected county.
The vacancy was created by the September 6 death of long-time state Rep. Dick Hess.
The 78th District is made up of parts of Bedford County, all of Fulton County and part of Huntingdon County.
Candidates for the office will be selected by a process designated by their respective political parties, and the winner of the special elections will take office after the results are certified.
The district offices of Rep. Hess will remain open under supervision of the House, to assist constituents with issues or problems, and continue constituent inquiries already in progress. The offices will remain until a new representative takes office and decides how to manage the district.